Bangalore: BJP national president Nitin Gadkari on Monday asked BS Yeddyurappa to be patient, even as the latter intensified his campaign to stake claim to the post of Karnataka chief minister.
Gadkari’s remarks came as Yeddyurappa and his supporters appeared to be digging in their heels.
The party’s national leadership is faced with the prospect of bowing to rebels to save the state government or getting ready for a split.
BJP leaders were under tremendous pressure to reinstate scam-tainted Yeddyurappa following the recent High Court ruling in favour of him in the mining-bribery case.
Yeddyurappa has taken on the `high command` at a critical moment for the party as the state Assembly is to meet Tuesday. Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda is to present the Budget for 2013-14 on Wednesday.
The former chief minister claims the support of 70 of the party`s 120 members in the 225-member Assembly which includes one nominated member.
He and his supporters, including several ministers, have been camping in a resort on Bangalore`s outskirts to decide whether they should boycott the Assembly to force the central leaders to accept his demand.
In Delhi, about 10 BJP MPs lobbied with the central leaders to immediately replace Gowda with Yeddyurappa.
In New Delhi, senior party leader Arun Jaitley told reporters that he was in touch with Yeddyurappa and was confident of resolving the crisis.
Yeddyurappa was forced to quit on July 31 last year after then Lokayukta (ombudsman) found that his family members had received around Rs 30 crore from two mining companies in return for favours.
Gowda succeeded him on August 4. One of the conditions of Yeddyurappa was to make Gowda chief minister. However, he turned against Gowda soon after and has been insisting on being reinstated.
The demand intensified following the March 7 High Court ruling quashing the Lokayukta findings and registration of case against him.
(With IANS inputs)