New Delhi: A defiant Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, under pressure to quit over allegations of favoured land allotment to relatives, declared no one had asked him to resign as he arrived in the national capital on Monday evening for more talks with the leadership of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He flew in from Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh in the Prime Minister’s aircraft. Both were attending the 85th birthday celebrations of Sathya Sai Baba there and the Karnataka CM said there was no other transportation alternative available. He flew in a full 24-hrs after he was summoned by the BJP central leadership.
On landing, he said he had come to meet the MPs of BJP and then he would also meet the national leaders.
“No one has asked me to resign,” he emphatically told media persons.
He said he would be meeting his party MPs from Karnataka
and later the BJP leadership. On the charges of irregularities in land allotment
favouring his family members, Yeddyurappa said a judicial
inquiry was already on in the matter.
Yeddyurappa was expected to meet BJP chief Nitin Gadkari who has been authorised by senior party leaders to take a final decision on his continuation. But Gadkari flew out to Nagpur in evening. Yeddyurappa later held a meeting with BJP leader Arun Jaitley and will meet Gadkari tomorrow.
Yeddyurappa has reportedly told the party leadership that
his removal might harm the first ever BJP government in the
South, for whose formation he had played a key part.
Some senior leaders, speaking on the condition of
anonymity, however, dismissed suggestions that he can bring
down the government.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister`s loyalists met Gadkari and senior leaders Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu to oppose his removal, particularly as the party has to face district level elections in December.
VS Acharya, Higher Education Minister and a Yeddyurappa confidant, said after meeting Gadkari, Jaitley and Naidu that no decision had been taken to replace the chief minister.
He denied reports that BJP had given a deadline to Yeddyurappa to quit and he had disobeyed it. "No deadline was set and hence the disobedience does not arise."
State Transport and Home Minister R Ashoka, who also met Gadkari, added: "We have given all details to Gadkari. Our leaders will again talk to Yeddyurappa and the matter will be clear by tomorrow (Tuesday)."
In Bangalore, heads of three maths (religious institutions) of the Lingayat community, to which Yeddyurappa belongs, came out openly in his support.
His removal, they said at a joint press conference, will be seen as an assault on the Lingayat community and the BJP will pay heavily for it.
There were TV reports which indicated Yeddyurappa was avoiding the national leadership for now.