Ananth Kumar trying to keep BJP under his clutches: Yeddyurappa

Bharatiya Janata Party’s beleaguered former chief minister of Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa will not attend the national executive meeting to be held in Mumbai on May 23.

Zeenews Bureau

Bangalore: Beleaguered former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa announced on Saturday that he will not attend the BJP national executive meeting to be held in Mumbai on May 23.

"I will not attend the party national executive," Yeddyurappa, who recently pushed the party government to a crisis that had threatened its survival, told reporters here.

The national executive meeting will be held on coming Friday and a public meeting will be held the next day. Top leaders LK Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Sushma Swaraj will reach Mumbai on May 23.

Over 400 members are expected to participate in the national executive meet. They will include chief ministers, deputy chiefs of those states where the BJP is an alliance partner, and all the city and state presidents of the party.

Holding BJP general secretary HN Ananth Kumar responsible for the Karnataka crisis, Yeddyurappa demanded his removal and asked the central leadership to act against him.

"After (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee, a leader like LK Advani is leading the party. He is capable of taking decisions for the good of the party. However, Anantkumar (party general secretary) is not allowing him take decisions and resolve crisis. Anantkumar is trying to keep the party under his clutches", he said.

"Anantkumar creates confusion and doubtful situation. It is very tragic that Anantkumar is not only misguiding the party, but also trying to dominate", he alleged.

BJP has leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who had good leadership qualities, but Anantkumar is "suppressing" them, he said.

He charged that Kumar was preventing any MP from Karnataka though it has stalwarts like DB Chandregowda, Suresh Angadi and Basavaraj, from coming into prominence.

He said BJP general secretary Dhamendra Pradhan, who is camping in the city since yesterday to resolve the crisis, met him. "I also spoke by phone to Gadkari and Jaitley", he added.

Praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Yeddyurappa said, “Modi has been a popular and mass leader but is not getting due prominence within the party.”

Yeddyurappa also described Modi as a "straight forward man and dynamic chief minister."

Putting to rest all speculations about him getting close to the Congress party, the senior BJP leader said, "There is speculation that I am going to join Congress. It is far from truth. There is no question of joining any political party".

Yeddyurappa also said that he doesn’t want to be chief minister or party president.

Yeddyurappa expressed displeasure over the party high command not making efforts to resolve the political crisis that has rocked the Karnataka unit in the last three months, with assembly elections scheduled early next year.

He found fault with the party`s decision to choose retired bureaucrat Ramakrishna for the Rajya Sabha seat ignoring seniors like BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman.

He said he would tour the state after May 30 to know the pulse of the people and take an appropriate decision on his future.

Importantly, reports yesterday claimed that the Lingayat leader and his loyalists are currently weighing all options available to them, especially in view of the changed political situation after the Supreme Court gave a go ahead to the CBI to probe corruption charges against Yeddyurappa.

Yeddyurappa’s decision to set up his own office has surprised many who are questioning the move as a BJP office already exists. However, there has been no official confirmation on this.

The Lingayat leader, who has so far kept his cards close to his chest, has categorically rejected reports about his much-rumoured exit from BJP. His loyalists claim that the new office will be used by Yeddyurappa for interacting with supporters and the general public over the coming days.

BJP sources in Karnataka claim that the BSY camp is very upset over the fact that the central leadership has repeatedly ignored their beloved leader and those in the state unit have attempted to sideline him further.

Yeddyurappa is too upset with the high command for not reinstating him as the state’s chief minister six months after he resigned over a slew of corruption charges.

The party insiders say that BSY has a long list of MLAs who are ready to fight the next Assembly Elections under his leadership. There is a growing feeling in the BSY camp that it is the right time for Yeddyurappa to announce the formation of his new party and the same could be done after he completes state wide tour in the coming days.

With PTI inputs