'Oust Yeddyurappa' campaign hots up

A TV grab of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa ‘assaults’ his car driver near the BJP office on Wednesday.  The crisis has left the party almost divided between the loyalists of Yeddyurappa and State party president K S Eshwarappa. Both Eshwarappa and party national secretary Ananth Kumar have again become a rallying point for the disgruntled legislators. This was the situation in 2009 too, when Yeddyurappa’s style of functioning was questioned by Eshwarappa and his supporters.

A signature campaign demanding the resignation of Yeddyurappa has begun at the new BJP office in Malleswaram, which is scheduled to be inaugurated on March 23.

The dissident activity in the party, which had been simmering for some time, came out in the open with as many as 50 legislators and several ministers, including Janardhana Reddy, Jagadish Shettar, Govinda Karjol, S A Ramadas and Visveshwara Hegde Kageri, holding a meeting at the party office on Tuesday night.

This group is said to be unhappy with Yeddyurappa for neglecting legislators, old-timers in the BJP and for taking decisions without taking party seniors into confidence.

It is said Yeddyurappa had ignored 40 legislators who had aligned with Reddy some months ago. None of the requests made by them were considered by the chief minister, it is said. Last week, Eshwarappa had met the party bosses in New Delhi to express his displeasure about Yeddyurappa. The leaders, it is said, advised Eshwarappa to solve the problem at his level.

The party office witnessed high drama on Wednesday evening. Following complaints by some MLAs, Eshwarappa had called a meeting, which was attended by Ananth Kumar. They discussed how Yeddyurappa and his family members have caused embarrassment to the party due to various scams.  The legislators also deliberated on their next course of action.

Learning about the meeting, Yeddyurappa arrived at the venue along with some of his close associates, including ministers C M Udasi, Umesh Katti, Basavaraj Bommai, Lakshman Savadi.

After being confronted by the agitated MLAs, Yeddyurappa left the venue in a huff reportedly stating that he would report  their meeting to the party Central leadership.

The dissidents are also of the view that Yeddyurappa had neglected party loyalists and depended on new entrants to the party. The group will also place their views before the party Central leadership seeking the ouster of Yeddyurappa soon after mobilising the support of 70 legislators, sources said.

Eshwarappa and his followers left the party office and later continued their strategy meeting at the former’s residence.

Chief Minister slaps driver on his arm

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa is known for his bad temper. This came to the fore again in public when he hit his car driver on Wednesday.

The incident happened when Yeddyurappa walked out of the party office after he was confronted by a host of legislators who questioned his ‘attitude’. He immediately barged out of the office and got into his official car. He had no patience to receive questions from the waiting journalists. He instructed his driver to start the vehicle, and even before the driver  could act, Yeddyurappa hit him on his forearm.

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