Demand for Yeddy`s removal emerges from within BJP

Last Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 23:50

New Delhi: Demand for the removal of
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Saturday emerged from
within the BJP in the wake of the Lokayukta indicting him in
his report on illegal mining in the state.

BJP vice-president and former in-charge of Karnataka
Shanta Kumar has written a letter to party president Nitin
Gadkari and senior leader L K Advani demanding that
Yeddyurappa be removed immediately in the wake of his
indictment by the Lokayukta.

"I have stated in my letter that due to Yeddyurappa`s
continuance in office, the image of the BJP throughout the
country was getting tarnished. We have compromised long
enough. We should not wait any longer and go for a change of
leadership," Kumar said.
Kumar, who is currently holidaying in Goa, said he could
no longer bear reports about corruption in the Karnataka
government and was forced to write this letter.

"When I was in-charge of Karnataka and the charges
against Yeddyurappa were made the last time (of out-of-turn
land allotment to his sons) I had suggested to the party to
remove him. When this did not happen I asked to be freed of my
responsibilities," Kumar said.

A senior BJP leader, preferring anonymity, said that so
far Yeddyurappa has been able to hold onto his chair as there
were no reports till now which would directly indict him and
the earlier charges were mere allegations.

With the report of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, which is
likely to be submitted to the Karnataka Chief Secretary soon,
Yeddyurappa`s continuance could become untenable, the leader
noted.
However, officially the BJP has been evading questions
on Yeddyurappa`s fate, saying it will respond only after the
Lokayukta report is made public.

After Kumar, the voices within the party seeking his
removal are likely to grow stronger with several top leaders
of the party feeling not removing him would considerably
weaken BJP`s fight against corruption.

BJP`s big plans of taking on the UPA government on the
issue of corruption in the forthcoming session of Parliament
would be dented if Yeddyurappa stays as chief minister.

"How will we fight against corruption if we compromise
on Yeddyurappa. The water has now risen above the danger
level. By not changing the chief minister in one state, BJP`s
image is being tainted across the country," Kumar said.

Yeddyurappa, the first BJP Chief Minister in a southern
state, has survived all attacks against him in the last three
years since he came to power by convincing the party top brass
that he has the support of the majority of his party MLAs.

The 68-year-old chief minister is the most prominent
Lingayat leader of the BJP in Karnataka and the party has been
wary of antagonising the community by removing him.

However, the BJP has to finally take a call on
Yeddyurappa`s continuance to carry on its fight against
corruption.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 23:50

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