BSY hosts MLAs to tea, seeks sympathy

BSY hosts MLAs to tea, seeks sympathy

In what was obviously an attempt to prove to party’s central leaders that he is crucial for the party’s continuation in power, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday renewed efforts to pressure party MLAs to throw their lot behind him in New Delhi.

Yeddyurappa hosted a tea party for 11 BJP MLAs representing Bangalore at his Race Course Road residence and asked them to decide if they wanted him as their leader. If they were confident of winning the next election without his leadership, he would decide his next course of action, he told them, reminding them that they would find it tough to face elections without a mass leader.

Minister R Ashoka was present, while Yeddyurappa’s known loyalists, including ministers S Suresh Kumar, Shobha Karandlaje and A Naraya naswamy, legislators Katta Subramanya Naidu, Satish Reddy and Hemachandra Sagar were not. Some City MLAs who marked their attendance had their own axe to grind - the government led by Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda referring the Rs 1500-crore BBMP fake bills scam to the CID for inquiry.

Legislators who attended were Aravind Limbavali, Vijay Kumar, M Krishnappa, M Srinivas, Ashwath Narayana, Nandish Reddy, Ravi Subramanya, Muniraju and S Raghu.

The former chief minister is learnt to have told the MLAs that 70 to 80 MLAs should go to Delhi and force the central leaders to reinstall him as chief minister, a position he ‘deserved’. He cited the example of the Congress and said the party had not been able to ‘recover’ after Veerendra Patil was made to step down as chief minister 20 years ago. Apparently, he meant that the BJP too would have no future without him.

Yeddyurappa reportedly told the MLAs that the Chief Minister’s Office in Vidhana Soudha was ineffective. Officers were not efficient. Unlike him, Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda is not willing to take risks. If the same situation continued, the party will find the going tough during elections, he said.

The former chief minister did not hide his displeasure against his successor, sources said. He reportedly told the legislators that Gowda was not obeying his directions. Gowda had sworn before him that he would quit whenever he was asked to.

But when told not to resign as MP nor contest the MLC election, he disobeyed, Yeddyurappa lamented.

The ex-chief minister reportedly attacked State Party President K S Eshwarappa too. He reportedly did not react when Bangalore City unit president Subbanna said the party needed to remain united. When the MLAS suggested that he meet Delhi leaders again, Yeddyurappa replied that the Bangalore MLAs should first decide whether the party required him.

Central leaders coming

Party sources, meanwhile, said a couple of central leaders would be dispatched to Karnataka on January 8 and 9 to take stock of party affairs and initiate action to diffuse any tension.

Yeddyurappa, interacting with the media later, said it was left to the central leadership to decide who should head the party in the State. Now, the leaders are busy with elections in five northern states, he added. When pressed on his future course of action, he said he would decide only after January 15. He discounted the possibility of early elections to the Assembly.

The MLAs, on their part, claimed they met Yeddyurappa to greet him for the New Year and express their support to him. The real reason apparently is that some of these MLAs, who are “beneficiaries” of the BBMP fake bills scam, were not only upset that it has been referred to the CID, but also that a senior police officer - Roop Kumar Datta - has been posted to head the agency. The MLAs indirectly sought to bring pressure on Yeddyurappa to influence the government not to proceed with the investigation. The legislators are also not happy with the government for retaining Dr Rajvir Pratap Sharma in the BMTF as Additional Director General of Police. The CID and BMTF are probing the scam.

 Their fear stems from the fact that Datta’s investigation into the KIADB scam proved too costly for former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu and his corporator son Katta Jagadish. He was also on the team of officers which reported on illegal mining, which dethroned Janardhana Reddy and their close ally B Sriramulu.

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