Bangalore: Former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Sunday denied meeting BJP leader Arun Jaitley and remained firm on launching his own party even as the BJP seemed reluctant to let go of him.
Yeddyurappa had announced he would quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and launch his own outfit, Karnataka Janata Party, Dec 9.
He told reporters here that he "respects" Jaitley but "the question of meeting him or going back on the decision to launch a new party does not arise".
This is the second time in over a month that Yeddyurappa avoided meeting Jaitley. The BJP leader was here in October first week but Yeddyurappa went away to his home district Shimoga, about 280 km north of Bangalore, instead of meeting Jaitley.
Yeddyurappa asserted that there was "no change in the plan to launch a new party Dec 9, irrespective of whether anyone (a reference to ministers and BJP legislators supporting him) will be with me or not on that day".
Though almost half of ministers in Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar's 34-member cabinet are Yeddyurappa loyalists, it is not clear how many would follow him to the new party.