K’taka BJP crisis: BSY issues 48-hr-ultimatum
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 23:15
Bangalore: Ruling BJP in Karnataka on Sunday plunged into a crisis with former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa intensifying his power struggle by claiming support of over half of party MLAs and demanded that the central leadership convene a legislature party meet within 48 hours.

"55 legislators are here today. 15 more will join tomorrow. I am confident that the BJP central leadership will take note of all these developments and take an appropriate decision as soon as possible," said Yeddyurappa, who is making a renewed bid to get the party to reinstate him as Chief Minister.

The BJP has a strength of 120 legislators, including the Speaker, in the 224-member Assembly.

"Wait for 48 hours. It is not a deadline. I am sure the party leadership will take a decision", he said, apparently indicating that the BJP leadership will have to take a call on his demand for reinstating him as Chief Minister before his successor D V Sadananda Gowda presents his maiden budget in the state Assembly on March 21.

He was talking to reporters after holding a meeting with his supporters at his residence here.

At the meeting, Yeddyurappa loyalists decided to submit a memorandum to BJP President Nitin Gadkari seeking a legislature party meeting.

The BJP Karnataka strongman, who is keen on presenting the budget himself, has set the new deadline hoping to regain the lost chair, even as the state unit party president KS Eswarappa firmly ruled out change of guard.

Amid the crisis, Chief Minister Gowda celebrated his 59th birthday on a low key and declared he would present the budget. Gowda, who called on Siddganga Mutt seer Shivakumara Swamy at Tumkur to seek his blessings on his birthday,however, ducked a query on the leadership change demand by Yeddyurappa faction, remarking "it will be decided by central leadership".

Refusing to take note of the show of strength by Yeddyurappa, Gowda said he had seen several political crisis in the past and added "I am sure I will face the current political crisis successfully".

Meanwhile, Minister for Municipal Administration Bhalachandra Jarkiholi expressed unhappiness over the dissidence activities in the party and threatened to quit Assembly membership along with 19 others.


First Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 15:07

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