BSY gearing up for political endgame

BSY gearing up for political endgame

Detractors intensify replace Yeddyurappa campaign

BSY gearing up for political endgame

The pro and anti-Yeddyurappa camps in the ruling BJP are sharpening their knives to outwit each other in anticipation of the final report on illegal mining that  Lokayukta Santosh Hegde is scheduled to submit any day next week and which is likely to indict the chief minister.

Anticipating trouble from his detractors within and outside the party, Yeddyurappa is understood to have finalised a multi-pronged strategy to face the ramifications arising out of the report.

At the same time, Yeddyurappa’s detractors have upped their ante seeking his ouster. BJP State President K S Eshwarappa and party national general secretary Ananth Kumar have emerged as the front runners in the ‘replace Yeddyurappa’ campaign.
Yeddyurappa will be arriving in Bangalore via Mumbai from his week-long holiday in Mauritius.

Several close associates of the CM on Sunday tried to mobilise support for their leader by calling party legislators and inviting them to be in Bangalore on Monday to greet Yeddyurappa on his arrival in the State capital.

Sources close to the chief minister said Yeddyurappa is likely to make several announcements soon after arriving in Bangalore to counter the allegations against him. The CM is likely to order an inquiry into phone tapping allegation made by Hegde.
The disclosure of the Lokayukta last week that his phone had been tapped, had raised a political storm.

Yeddyurappa is also likely to release documents to substantiate his stand that he had not favoured or received favours from South West Mining Company. The CM has convened a press conference on Monday evening. At the same time, the CM, who is defiant that he would not step down at any cost, is firming up his support among the legislators. He is said to have personally called several legislators to consolidate their support to him. In the CM camp, there is a  talk of Yeddyurappa going in for a cabinet expansion soon.

The move, however, can be interpreted as a strategy to take the sting out of the dissidence  brewing against him in the wake of his indictment by the Lokayukta.
The leaked portion of the Lokayukta report indicts Yeddyurappa for allegedly getting favours from a mining firm.

An education trust operated by Yeddyurappa’s family allegedly received large sums from South West Mining Company.

The firm reportedly paid Rs 40 crore to Prerana Education Trust for a land transaction. There was also hectic activity in the anti-Yeddyurappa camp. Ananth Kumar is said to have the support of the Reddy brothers and their followers, senior minister Jagadish Shettar and a majority of legislators from Bangalore.

A meeting between Kumar and Shettar at the former’s residence in Bangalore lent credence to the speculation. Kumar, however, is managing his strategies from behind the screens and is yet to come out in the open. Eshwarappa is said to be hopeful that he would emerge as a “consensus” candidate.
The names of Shobha Karandlaje, Suresh Kumar and V S Acharya are also doing the rounds for the top post. The deciding factor in the drama will be the BJP central leadership. President Nitin Gadkari has already held informal confabulations on the future of Yeddyurappa. Though Yeddyurappa has got the support of Gadkari and senior party leader Arun Jaitley, party sources in Delhi said it would be difficult to allow the him to continue after Hegde’s report.

According to sources, the  party’s central leadership has begun informal consultations with Yeddyurappa camp.His detractors are banking on the fact that the party central leadership is keeping an open mind on the Karnataka developments. On previous occasion when Yeddyurappa’s leadership was questioned following allegations of corruption and favourtism,  the party top brass had given Yeddyurappa the benefit of doubt stating that he had not been indicted.

On its part, Congress intensified its demand for Yeddyurappa’s resignation over Hegde’s phone-tapping. Congress leaders on Sunday met Governor H R Bhardwaj and urged him to initiate action against Yeddyurappa for phone-tapping, leakage of Lokayukta report, and trying to influence Hegde.


Governor waits in the wings

Governor H R Bhardwaj on Sunday said he will send his “assessment” to the President once the Lokayukta submits his mining report, DHNS reports. “I am the competent authority to deal with the Government. Let the report come on record. Then I can express my opinion to the President”, Bhardwaj said on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore.

On reports that the Lokayukta would not submit his report to the Governor, Bhardwaj said the stage had not been reached where the Governor needs to act.

“If the report is submitted to me, then I will take a look at it. In any case, the Supreme Court is looking into the matter of illegal mining in both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

When questioned whether he would recommend President’s rule, Bhardwaj said that there has been no request from either side to this effect.