Bangalore: Former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Friday quit the BJP, accusing a section of its leadership of conspiring to drive him out of a party "for which I gave 40 years of my life".
He announced at a public meeting at Freedom Park in the city centre that he had sent his resignation to Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari.
The 69-year-old Yeddyurappa, credited with bringing the BJP to power for the first time in Karnataka and south India in 2008, is formally launching the Karnataka Janata Party Dec 9 in Haveri, 400 km north of Bangalore.
Yeddyurappa is peeved that the BJP leadership did not keep its promise to make him the state BJP chief soon after he was forced to give up the chief minister's post in July 2011 over mining bribery charges.
He said Friday that he was leaving the BJP with a "heavy heart" as "I have given my 40 years of life to build it".
Ahead of the public meeting he prayed at a temple and turned emotional and shed tears while talking to reporters.
"I have sacrificed my life to build the party," he said.
And though the party had given "everything to me, I am leaving it because some in the party don't want me to continue in the party.
"Hence I am resigning from the primary membership."
Yeddyurappa repeated that he was put in the dock by some in the BJP though he was not guilty.
He said he had asked BJP ministers and legislators supporting him not to quit the party now as "I want the Jagadish Shettar government to complete the term" which ends in May next year.
The BJP has 119 members in the 225-strong assembly, whose term ends in May next.
Yeddyurappa and his supporters claim that over 40 of these legislators, including several ministers, were ready to join the new party.
Yeddyurappa also resigned from the state assembly, soon after quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party.
He submitted his resignation to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah at the state secretariat in the city centre and urged that it be accepted immediately.
The 69-year-old told the speaker that he was giving up his assembly seat on his own.
Yeddyurappa represented Shikaripura in his home district Shimoga, about 280 km north of Bangalore.
However Shettar, the BJP's third chief minister in its over four years of rule in Karnataka, and state BJP chief K. S. Eshwarappa claim that only a handful of party legislators would join the new outfit.