Bangalore: The leadership tussle in Karnataka`s ruling BJP worsened on Thursday as former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa charged state unit chief KS Eswarappa with trying to oust him from the party and being responsible for sending him to jail.
"Ever since Eswarappa assumed office, he has been making statements branding me as guilty. He is not content with my ouster from the chief minister`s post, but is also trying to
throw me out of the party," he told reporters here.
His outburst comes a day after Eshwarappa accompanied Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda to Delhi to meet party top brass and reportedly sought their intervention to checkmate Yeddyurappa`s attempt to return to power.
"I have not begged anyone to make me chief minister again or appoint me state unit president. The high command will look into these demands. But Eswarappa has been regularly making statements as if he is the BJP high command," he said.
Yeddyurappa had yesterday held a meeting here with his supporters, including half a dozen ministers and asked them to mobilise support of at least 70 MLAs, sources close to him
The former chief minister, sulking since his removal from the top post in July after the Lokayukta indicted him in its report on illegal mining, also said he would soon undertake a
state-wide tour and announce future plans after January 15.
Yeddyurappa accused Eswarappa, also from his home district of Shimoga, of hatching a conspiracy and being responsible for him going to jail for 24 days.
"Eswarappa is not content even after sending me to jail for 24 days. He has been stating that as long as I come clean from all the charges, no position can be given to me. Such
statements do not befit the position he holds and is certainly not in the interest of the party," he said.
Yeddyurappa said he had remained a "silent spectator" in the recently concluded Assembly session, but added that he had been subjected to "a relentless attack without any reason by
In another development, Gowda told party workers at Bellary today that the "confusion" which had rocked the party has ended with the intervention of the high command.
"The high command has given me the strength to continue transparent administration in the state," he said.
Meanwhile, Gowda met Yeddyurappa this morning and briefed him about the talks he had with the high command in Delhi.
Later, speaking to reporters, Gowda described his Delhi trip as "fruitful". "I also discussed with Yeddyurappa, the expansion of the ministry."
There are seven vacancies in the Gowda ministry.