BSY summoned to Delhi

BSY summoned to Delhi

Eshwarappa also asked to reach capital; core committee to meet again

BSY summoned to Delhi

The central leadership asked senior state leader and Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar to be in Delhi on Friday itself while state party unit chief K S Eshwarappa is also expected to be in the national capital within the next 48 hours. Shettar is considered to be an alternative in case the leadership decides to dump Yeddyurappa.

A number of other senior leaders and party legislators were also asked to reach Delhi over the weekend so that the party leadership could assess the messy situation in the State.

Division

The decision to summon the chief minister and other leaders emerged from a meeting of the party’s core committee on Thursday evening. The core committee will meet again on Friday to exclusively discuss the Karnataka affairs. Ahead of Thursday’s core committee meeting, the central leadership had almost made up its mind to summon Yeddyurappa and others on Thursday itself. Apparently, however, it was changed as the central leadership remained divided on the course of action to deal with the crisis.

On his part, Yeddyurappa, scalded by one scandal after another, made a feeble attempt to protect his skin by announcing a judicial probe into the land scam in which his sons and some of his close associates, including Cabinet ministers Shobha Karandlaje, R Ashok and Katta Subramanya Naidu, are allegedly involved.

While maintaining that he was prepared to face the probe, Yeddyurappa sought to widen the scope of the inquiry, claiming that it would go into land scams of the last 10 years –-a clear pointer that it would expose and embarrass former chief ministers.

Fretting over his defence, the chief minister, who has found himself in an ever-descending spiral, sought to dispel doubts that the party leadership and the RSS was unhappy with him. Ruling out a change in leadership in view of a series of corruption and nepotism charges against him, Yeddyurappa claimed that party president Nitin Gadkari had expressed happiness over his performance as chief minister and conveyed to him that he would visit the state within a week.

The State Cabinet, which took the decision to appoint a retired Supreme Court judge to probe the allegations of land scam, stopped short of naming the judge, outlining the duration of the probe and defining the terms of reference of the proposed inquiry. The Congress and the JD(S) rejected the probe and stuck to their demand that Yeddyurappa must quit. Going in for the kill, the JD(S), which had played a significant role in weaning away several MLAs to weaken the state BJP before last month’s vote of confidence, on Thursday filed a complaint against Yeddyurappa with the Lokayukta for denotifying land, claiming at the same time that the Rs 5,000 -crore scam was to favour the chief minister’s family members and other ministerial colleagues.

In a 580-page complaint filed by JD(S) spokesperson Y S V Datta, the party urged Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde to probe the allegations. The complaint copy includes documents pertaining to land denotification by Yeddyurappa to favour his sons. Yeddyurappa has illegally denotified about 138 acres of land in 78 different cases, the complaint alleged.

Justice Hegde said the Lokayukta will take up investigation after going through the complaint. When asked about the possibility of a change in leadership in Karnataka, a former BJP president said in Delhi that “there is no surgery in the offing”.

However, reliable party sources told Deccan Herald that Yeddyurappa was not left with too many friends in the BJP’s central leadership and the latest controversy had only underscored the general thinking that an alternative leaders from “his community” could be given a shot with “his consent”.

A group within the BJP opposing a change in Karnataka believes that Yeddyurappa has so far weathered several storms because he was being backed by the RSS. Though the RSS has not spoken its mind on Yeddyurappa, the outfit’s general secretary Suresh Soni met Gadkari on Monday and discussed the land scam allegedly involving the CM.

In conversations with Gadkari, Yeddyurappa has sought to put the blame squarely on party general secretary Ananth Kumar, claiming that his “home troubles” were the making of the MP from Bangalore South. Party sources in Delhi said that Yeddyurappa is in a “combative mood” and “not at all receptive to the idea of change”.

 Facing flak

*   State Government decides to order a judicial probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into the alleged land scams in the last 10 years.

*   Documents reveal Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje bought land worth Rs 24.96 cr in Kodagu.

*   JD(S) files complaint against Yeddyurappa with the Lokayukta claiming the denotification scam exceeded Rs 5,000 crore.

*   Yeddyurappa rules out possibility of change in leadership. Says party central leadership and the RSS are happy with him.

*   Opposition threatens to come out with more revelations.

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