Yeddyurappa in Delhi to mount pressure on BJP

BJP leadership was on Wednesday night locked in hectic consultations over the crisis in Karnataka as former CM B S Yeddyurappa arrived in the capital.

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2012, 23:33 PM IST

New Delhi: BJP leadership was on Wednesday night locked in hectic consultations over the crisis in Karnataka as former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa arrived in the capital to mount further pressure for his reinstatement while Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda ruled out his own removal.
On a day the party suffered a humiliating defeat in the
Lok Sabha by election in Udupi-Chikmagalur, Gowda`s bastion,
Yeddyurappa reached Delhi with a clutch of supporters to up the ante.

Yeddyurappa claimed he has no demands but his mission was
obvious in that he would be meeting senior party leaders L K
Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley.

"I will accept whatever responsibility they will give me
in future," he told reporters in Bangalore before leaving for
Delhi.

In the capital, he said he had not set any ultimatum or
deadline to the party and left it to the leadership to take
any decision.

"I have not asked for anything. They are not giving me
anything," said the former Karnataka Chief Minister who was
forced to step down last year in the wake of Lokayukta
indictment in the mining scandal.

Gowda, who was also summoned to the capital, said in
Bangalore that there will be no change of guard in Karnataka.

"Party president Nitin Gadkari has assured (me) that
there will be no leadership change. The discussions in Delhi
would be centred on the causes that led to the defeat of
BJP candidate in the Uudpi-Chikmagalur bye-election", he told
reporters before leaving row Delhi.

Yeddyurappa stepped up his campaign for reinstatement
ever since the Karnataka High Court set aside the Lokayukta
order.

Gadkari also reached the capital this evening and will
hold a meeting with Yeddyurappa. The BJP president held
parleys with Jaitley late into the night.

The BJP top brass appears to have come around to the view
that Yeddyurappa should be reinstated but it wanted him to
wait till the process of biennial Rajya Sabha polls are
completed on March 30.

However, with BJP losing the Udipi-Chikmagalur
by-election by a huge margin of 45,724 votes and his decision
to put up a rebel Rajya Sabha candidate seems to have speeded
up Yeddyurappa`s return.

The BJP suffered a major loss of face when the party lost
the seat held by Gowda himself before he was appointed as the
Chief Minister in August last year replacing Yeddyurappa.

BJP insiders said dissidence in the party and the image
battered by corruption charges were the main reasons for the
defeat of party candidate V Sunil Kumar from the Udipi-
Chikmagalur seat.

Yeddyurappa had also put up a rebel candidate for the
Rajya Sabha and announced that he and his MLAs will boycott
the on-going budget session in Karnataka. However, he toned
down when the Central leadership appeared conciliatory.

Yeddyurappa`s open defiance of the party high command
since the Karnataka High Court quashed the Lokayukta case
against him is costing the party dear. He claims to have the
support of around 66 MLAs and 12 MPs from the state.

Gowda, who left Bangalore by a special aircraft, was
accompanied by Ministers S Suresh Kumar, Govind Karjol and S A
Raveendranath.

On his Delhi trip, Yeddyurappa was accompanied by some
ministers loyal to him. Party sources said state unit BJP
President K S Eshwarappa has also been asked to reach Delhi by
the party leaders.

In another related development, about 10 BJP MLAs under
the leadership of Minister for Municipal Administration
Balachandra Jarkiholi met Governor H R Bhardwaj and discussed
the prevailing political situation.

Jarkiholi, emerging out of Raj Bhavan, however, described
his meeting with the Governor as a courtesy call and said they
discussed the state budget.

Jarkiholi, an anti-Yeddyurappa camp leader, has been
opposing removal of Gowda as Chief Minister and two days ago
even threatened that he and 19 MLAs were ready to quit their
assembly membership in such a situation.

PTI