The first BJP Chief Minister from the South, B S Yeddyurappa is visibly angry and upset with the Centre. When he took charge as the CM of Karnataka four months ago, he had announced that he would try to maintain a cordial relationship with the Centre.
However, he is now accusing the Centre of selectively targetting Karnataka. The political developments following the recent attacks on Churches in the state has now pitted the state against the Centre. The relationship is now soured. Here are excerpts from an informal chat between CNN IBN's D P Satish and B S Yeddyurappa in New Delhi.
CNN-IBN: Why are you upset and angry with the Centre?
B S Yeddyurappa: The Centre is targetting Karnataka and Orissa just because the Congress or its allies are not in the power in these two states. The UPA selectively used Article 355 against us. As Karnataka CM I tried my best to maintain peace, law and order in the state. I didn't expect this from the Centre. I have been hurt. Feeling sad.
CNN-IBN: But, there have been attacks on Christians ...
B S Yeddyurappa: I agree. I will not deny it. But, my government handled the situation well. I myself apologised to Christians and I haven't spared anybody. I have given a free hand to police. Minorities are safe in my state. They have nothing to worry and fear. I brought the situation under control within a week. The Centre should know that. Actually the Centre aggravated the tension.
B S Yeddyurappa: They sent a team. It was politically motivated. The team held press conferences in Mangalore and Bangalore. It was not supposed to address the media. The team made remarks against my government before the media. How can bureacrats make allegations against an elected state government? It actually added fuel to fire.
CNN-IBN: How is the situation now?
B S Yeddyurappa: Everything is under control. I will ensure that nobody will take the law in their hand. All are equal and will be treated equally. I don't want any confrontation with the Centre. They have been unfair to us. I want the Centre to take action against the neo-radical evangelists like The New Life Church. They are into large scale conversions.
CNN-IBN: You are reportedly unhappy with the manner in which the National Integration Council meeting was conducted?
B S Yeddyurappa: Yes. I am. The arrangements were pathetic. Chief Ministers were made to hold a mike in one hand and their speech copy in the other hand. There was no fitted mike, table, nothing. The meeting was held just to appease our minority friends. Also there was no agenda, nothing. It was by the UPA, of the UPA and for the UPA. A seasoned Chief Minister like Narendra Modi was not treated properly. He did the right thing by refusing to make a speech.
CNN-IBN: Are you getting ready for the Lok Sabha polls?
B S Yeddyurappa: Yes. I want to win at least 25 seats out of 28 seats in Karnataka. We believe in democracy and will fight democratically.