`Rebel` Yeddyurappa to quit BJP?

Defiant BJP leader and state’s former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa may end suspense on Monday whether he will remain loyal to the saffron brigade or form a new political party.

Last Updated: May 14, 2012, 09:31 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Bangalore: Intensifying the power struggle in Karnataka and further complicating things for the ruling BJP, its defiant leader and state’s former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa may end suspense on Monday whether he will remain loyal to the saffron brigade or form a new political party.

The BJP’s Karnataka strongman is expected to hold a crucial meeting with his loyalists in a short while today to decide his future course of action.

Ahead of his meeting with his followers, the defiant Lingayat leader visited the famous Siddaganga mutt in Tumkur early morning and is expected to arrive in Bangalore in a short while to hold discussions with his loyalists.

Yeddyuruppa`s proposed meeting with his confidant MLAs and his supporters comes a day after Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda met party president Nitin Gadkari and other senior BJP leaders in New Delhi and apprised them of the political situation in the state.

In a bid to build pressure on the BJP high command, at least nine ministers in the Gowda cabinet have submitted their resignations to the former Chief Minister expressing full support to him.

The BJP MLAs and some party MPs, who are known to be close to Yeddyuruppa, are angry with the central leadership`s refusal to reinstate him as the chief minister.

The Yeddyurappa camp now wants Gowda to be removed and a Lingayat leader, like him, to be appointed as the Chief Minister. Sources further claim that Yeddyurappa has also shot off two letters to the Chief Minister carrying signatures of as many as 38 MLAs seeking an emergency legislature party meeting. However, the demand was outrightly rejected by Gowda.
In an unexpected move, Yeddyurappa on Sunday praised Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi for being very supportive of the tainted party leaders. However, this led to a major embarrassment for his party and triggered speculations that he might quit BJP and form another political party.

Upping the ante, Yeddyurappa also attacked his successor Sadananda Gowda calling him a "betrayer" for not vacating the chief ministership in six months to pave the way for his return to the post from which he quit after the Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicted him in July last year.

Yeddyurappa`s outburst came as the ruling BJP was hit by a fresh crisis after nine ministers loyal to him submitted their resignations to him yesterday and gunned for Gowda`s removal.
Venting his anger over BJP not being supportive of him after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into his alleged involvement in illegal mining during his tenure, Yeddyurappa said, "In Congress whenever a prominent leader faces allegations, that party rises to protect him and tell people that law will take its own course."

70-year old Lingayat strongman, who is entangled in a spate of corruption cases, has made repeated attempts to regain chief ministership but the central leadership had made it clear that he has to come clean in the charges levelled against him for his reinstatment.

With PTI Input