BSY buries hatchet with Shettar

BSY buries hatchet with Shettar

Realignment in State BJP targets DVS-Eshwarappa duo

The faction-ridden ruling BJP in Karna­taka is in the midst of a major realignment that thr­ea­tens to pose fresh challenges to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

Former CM BS Yeddyurappa during a meeting with his supporters at his Race Course Road residence in Bangalore on Wednesday. --KPN

At the centre of the realignment efforts is former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who has been making vain efforts for some time to take over as State unit president, if not considered for reinstatement as chief minister.

Ahead of the visit of party national president Nitin Gadkari to the state capital on Thursday, Yeddyurappa, on Wednesday, won over fellow Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar to his side. Six months ago, in a bitter intra-party battle, Yeddyurappa had stalled Shettar’s chances of replacing him as chief minister by propping up Gowda as his faction’s nominee for the top post.

The two Lingayat leaders have buried their difference for now and agreed to work together. In the process, they have targeted the chief minister.

With Shettar on his side, Yeddyurappa is convinced that he can now unseat Gowda, or at least bargain with the national leadership to secure the state party leadership for himself. This has not gone down too well with K S Eshwarappa, the incumbent state party chief who has been at odds with the former chief minister.

Along with Shettar, Home Minister R Ashoka, who had distanced himself from Yeddy­urappa, too, returned to the former chief minister’s fold. The Yeddyurappa camp followers we­­re preparing to stage a “show of strength” among the pa­rty legislators when Gadkari is in the city on Thursday for the party’s ‘Chintana Manthana Baithak.”

An emboldened Yeddyurappa camp also plans to lodge a co­mplaint against Gowda withthe party chief. The complaint would be that the chief minister was too accommodative of the JD(S). Yeddyurappa’s intenti­ons are clear. “I have invited all MLAs, MLCs and MPs for lunch at 11:30 am tomorrow (Thursday). We will be disc­ussing the present political scenario... The opinion that emerges will be communicated to Gadkari on February 23,” the former chief minister told reporters. Gadkari is expected to land in Bangalore on Thursday night.

Yeddyurappa with his luncheon meeting wants to send a message to the party central leadership and also to Sadananda Gowda that he still commands support in the