Finally, Yeddyurappa resigns as Chief Minister

After flexing his muscle for three days, scam-tainted BS Yeddyurappa finally stepped down as the Chief Minister of Karnataka amid high-voltage drama.

Last Updated: Aug 01, 2011, 00:55 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Bangalore: After flexing his muscle for three days, scam-tainted BS Yeddyurappa finally stepped down as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Sunday amid high-voltage drama.

In what could be seen as a show of strength to the party high command, the outgoing chief minister walked the two-km-long distance from his
Race Course residence to Raj Bhavan along with 60 odd MLAs, 20 MLCs and 15 MPs and submitted his “one-line” resignation letter to Governor HR Bhardwaj.

He was also accompanied by a host of ministers including controversial Ballery mining baron and tourism minister Janardhan Reddy.

Emerging out of Raj Bhavan, Yeddyurappa in an emotional farewell speech said, “As a discipline soldier of the party, I have resigned from the post of CM without any hesitation, bowing to the central leadership`s directive. No sacrifice is above the party”, he said.

The outgoing Chief Minister in a choking voice said, “I am satisfied with my work and happy to serve the state for three years”. Thanking his supporters, party members and the voters, Yeddyurappa declared that under his leadership “Karnataka was the best state of the country”.

"Despite my sincere attempts to preserve the natural resources of the state, I have been accused unfairly in mining scam. I leave this to the judgement of the enlightened people of the state", said Yeddyurappa as he ended his 38-month stint in office.

“I will fight out the allegations labelled against me”, he added.

Vowing to work for strengthening the party in the state, Yeddyurappa said “the wish of the people is that BJP should continue to be in power for the next 15-20 years".

Hours before he submitted his resignation, an emotional Yeddyurappa said he is leaving the office "happily" without being hurt and saw it as an opportunity to work "freely" to strengthen the party.
Yeddyurappa’s resignation came as big relief to the party, with the Parliament session beginning on Monday and a combined opposition is all set to put the Congress-led UPA government on the mat. His resignation from chief ministership has paved the way for his successor to be elected at the state legislature party meeting.

Dharmendra Pradhan, in-charge of BJP Karnataka affairs said, “The successor to Yeddyurappa to be elected on August 3.”

As the central leaders are making frantic efforts by working overtime for the change of guard, the names of DV Sadananda Gowda, Jagadish Shettar and Ananth Kumar tops the list of candidates for next Chief Minister. VS Acharya and Shobha Karandlaje are two other names in the list.

Yeddyurappa insisted that Udupi-Chikmagalur MP and former state BJP president DV Sadananda Gowda should succeed him. Gowda belongs to the dominant Vokkaliga community and has the backing of RSS. He was the state unit president when BJP rode to power centre of the state in 2008.

However, the central leaders were keen on his bete-noire National General Secretary H N Ananth Kumar or Lingayat strongman and Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar. Meanwhile, sources in the saffron party said the BJP is likely to accept Yeddyurappa`s condition that his nominee be named as his successor. Yeddyurappa was keen to be the state unit president, but the central leaders have turned down his demand.

Yeddyurappa -- who was asked by the Central leadership to quit after the state Lokayukta indicted him in the mining issue -- faxed resignation letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari early in the morning, party sources said. In his letter to Gadkari, Yeddyurappa vowed to "stand by the party" and expressed "full support" to it, sources said.
The BJP Parliamentary Board at its meeting on July 28 asked Yeddyurappa to resign as Chief Minister.

In the letter, the outgoing chief minister has also given reasons for the delay in putting in his papers and cited astrological issues as the main cause, sources said.

BJP central observers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, party general secretary and in-charge of party affairs Dharmendra Pradhan, another party general secretary Ananth Kumar, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu held several rounds of consultations with legislators on the issue of electing a new leader of the legislature party.

Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde on Wednesday indicted Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa for his role in the state’s illegal mining business and alleged that he received kickbacks for favouring mining barons.

Yeddyurappa is the first ever chief minister in the state to be indicted by Lokayukta under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In the letter, the outgoing chief minister has also given reasons for the delay in putting in his papers and cited astrological issues as the main cause, sources said.

Meanwhile, the MLAs lobbying for continuation of Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister have admitted that their efforts have not succeeded, but insisted they would stand-by him and push for his nominee as the successor.

Yeddyurappa`s camp is pushing for making him the state unit president, who would have a key role in distribution of ticket in the next elections, due in May 2013.

With PTI inputs)