BSY, DVS take potshots at each other

Former chief minister accuses some leaders of trying to divide Veerashaiva community

BSY, DVS take potshots at each other

The tug of war among the BJP top brass continued on Tuesday with former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa taking indirect potshots at his successor D V Sadananda Gowda by stating that some leaders within the party were trying to divide the Veerashaiva community and warned that they would not succeed.

Sources close to Yeddyurappa said that the former chief minister was of the opinion that Gowda and party State president K S Eshwarappa were trying to gain a political edge over him by attempting to erode his grip on the Lingayat community.

While Yeddyurappa did not name Gowda or Eshwarappa, the former chief minister has his grouse. Yeddyurappa was sidelined at two recent events, a convention of Veerashaiva community at Gokak town and the foundation stone laying ceremony for the installation of  Kotilingeshwara at Tumkur Siddaganga Mutt. Yeddyurappa feels he was sidelined deliberately, at the instance of Gowda and Eshwarappa, in a bid to embarrass him.

“The Lingayat community has unitedly supported the party. I caution those who are trying to divide the community that their move would backfire,” Yeddyurappa said.

Gowda, on his part, refused to comment on Yeddyurappa’s statement saying he did not know the context in which the former chief minister had made his remarks.

On Yeddyurappa’s comment that Gowda rose to the chief minister’s post by virtue of his luck, the chief minister had a cheeky one line reaction. “Yes, it’s true. The entire world knows it.”

Yeddyurappa had tried to be sarcastic on the “luck” comment. Yeddyurappa believes that he was instrumental in installing Gowda as chief minister and one of the main reasons for the souring of their relationship is the latter’s attempt to emerge out of the former’s shadows and assert himself.

On Yeddyurappa’s grouse that Gowda was hobnobbing with the JD(S) MLAs, the chief minister said: “I am the CM for all MLAs. If I earn a good name among MLAs of other parties, the BJP, in turn, will earn a good name.”

The war of words and speaking in riddles by party leaders is likely to continue for the next two days in the run-up to the two-day ‘Chintana Manthana Baitak’ scheduled to be held in Bangalore from February 24.

Yeddyurappa and his supporters would meet in Bangalore on the eve of the meeting to chalk out their plan of action. Yeddyurappa is also expected to hold a one-to-one meeting with BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, who will be arriving in Bangalore to inaugurate the meet.

As a precursor to the meeting, Bangalore legislators loyal to Yeddyurappa met at the latter’s Dollar’s Colony residence on Tuesday.

Some of Yeddyurappa’s loyalists are said to have told their leader that he take up the leadership issue firmly this time with the central leadership. A MLA close to Yeddyurappa said that they would be happy to see their leader reinstalled as chief minister but at the same time they would not like to be used as pawns.

The legislators are also understood to have told Yeddyurappa that the leadership issue has to be dealt within the party forum and that they would not join him if he quits the party.

In another development, four independent legislators, Venkataramanappa, Shivaraj Thangadagi, D Sudhakar, P M Narendraswamy met Gowda and had prolonged discussions with him. The speculation doing the rounds is that Gowda has sought their support to the government.

Late in the evening, RDPR Minister Jagadish Shettar met Yeddyurappa, but the details of the discussions held were not known.

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