No action against BJP fence-sitters
The BJP appears to be more concerned about saving the government rather than taking action against 14 rebel MLAs, who attended B S Yeddyurappa's public rally in Haveri on Sunday.
According to sources, the party fears that any punitive measures initiated by the central leadership will reduce the Jagadish Shettar government to a minority. †
The rebel legislators might tender resignation if the BJP takes action against them for anti-party activities.
The Karnataka political crisis came up for discussion at the BJP core group meeting held at the party headquarters Wednesday evening.
Chaired by president Nitin Gadkari, the meeting was attended by senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar and M M Joshi. Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh could not attend as they were out of the Capital.
Central leaders to decide
In Belgaum, the State BJP core committee decided not to take any hasty steps on initiating action against the 14 MLAs.
The committee, comprising Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, State party president K S Eshwarappa, former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda and others, decided to leave the decision to the central leadership.
“The State unit has no powers to take action against elected representatives. Only the high command can take action. The leaders will take an appropriate decision in this regard in two days,” Eshwarappa told reporters after the meeting.
With the BJP deciding to go slow, Yeddyurappa loyalists chose to remain silent.
Most of them took part in the legislature session on Wednesday. Neither the BJP nor the loyalists of Yeddyurappa reacted to the jibes of the Opposition that there are BJP and KJP members in the ruling side.
To begin with, the party may strip MLAs of their posts as heads of various boards and corporations, sources said. Eshwarappa, however, said the party does not hesitate to take action against anybody.
“Yes, we want to safeguard our government. But, at the same time, we will not tolerate indiscipline,” he stated.
Interestingly, the rebel MLAs who were saying that they would hold a meeting in the evening to decide their next course of action, remained quiet after realising they would not face action immediately.