Yeddyurappa invites supporters for lunch



Bangalore: Disgruntled BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa is hosting a lunch for his supporters here on Tuesday as part of his moves to float a new political party in December, ignoring pleas by his party leaders not to quit.

The former chief minister, who has been repeatedly announcing plans to quit to the party, has invited about 100 leaders, including ministers and legislators, to the lunch at his Dollar Colony residence.

"There was a suggestion from many that they had not met me for a long. I thought of hosting a lunch to provide an occasion for this meeting", Yeddyurappa said in Shimoga about tomorrow's event.

Sources close to Yeddyurappa claim issues like preparations for the December 10 conclave planned at Haveri, where the new party would be launched, would be discussed.

Yeddyurappa is also likely to entrust responsibilities to his legislators and ministers loyal to him but they would not quit BJP right now, sources said.

Tomorrow's exercise will come as a dampener to efforts by some BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and state unit President KS Eswarappa, to stop Yeddyurappa from leaving the party keeping in mind its prospects in the assembly polls to be held early next year.

In another development, the BJP central leadership has deputed its General Secretary and in-charge of Karnataka affairs Dharmendra Pradhan to the city to take stock of the troubled situation faced by the party.

BJP sources said Pradhan will be meeting Ministers and MPs on November 7.

Sources could not say whether Pradhan would meet Yeddyurappa to persuade him not to leave BJP.

Yeddyurappa has already declared that he would resign from BJP and also his assembly membership by first week of December. But the leader has not clarified why he would wait till December to quit BJP when he has already made up his mind to float a new party.

PTI