Yeddyurappa may get kin to surrender lands to retain chair

Yeddyurappa may get kin to surrender lands to retain chair

The speculation followed reports that senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders met in Delhi to discuss the fallout of the growing evidence of favoured land allotments by Yeddyurappa to his sons, daughter, son-in-law, sister and her son and daughter-in-law in and around Bangalore.

Yeddyurappa, the BJP's first chief minister in south India, has acknowledged that lands have been allotted to his family members.

He has, however, defended the action, saying that his Congress and Janata Dal-(Secular) predecessors too had done the same. "I have followed what my predecessors did," has been his refrain since the scam became public about 10 days back.

The Delhi meeting was attended by senior leader L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, former party president M. Venkaiah Naidu, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka and Bangalore South Lok Sabha member and party general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar, according to BJP sources.

Apparently this is the first formal meeting of top BJP leaders to discuss Yeddyurappa's land allotments, which seem to have put the party on the defensive at a time when it is insisting on probe into scandals around the 2G spectrum allotment, the Commonwealth Games and Mumbai's Adharsh housing society.

Yeddyurappa, however, maintained Thursday that party chief Nitin Gadkari was happy with his government's performance and there were no differences in the party.

He told reporters here: "I spoke to our party president Nitin Gadkari last night. He is happy with my work. He told me he will visit the state soon."

"I will remain chief minister for the remaining two and a half years," said Yeddyurappa, who assumed office in May 2008.

He dismissed as "media speculation" the reports that he had complained to party central leaders against Ananth Kumar.

"We have worked together to build the party. There is no difference and I have not complained to anybody. I do not know why media is reporting like this," Yeddyurappa said.

"The opposition is making all sorts of allegations. I tell my friends in the opposition to remain in opposition for another 20 years. That is the foundation I am laying," he said.

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