BSY's Feb 27 deadline for CM post

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa, who is making desperate efforts to get himself reinstated as chief minister, on Thursday again mounted pressure on the party central leaders.

Yeddyurappa set a new deadline of February 27 to meet his demand even as he did not get the support of a majority of the BJP and RSS loyalists for his game plan to oust Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

The new deadline to the party leaders in Delhi was set at a luncheon meeting convened by Yeddyurappa for ministers, legislators and MPs at his residence in Bangalore, ahead of party national president Nitin Gadkari’s arrival in the State Capital. Gadkari will inaugurate a two-day Chintana Manthana Baithak for party legislators at a resort on the outskirts of Bangalore, scheduled to commence from Friday.

Sources in the party say that the central leaders may not heed the demand of Yeddyurappa and remove Sadananda Gowda as the chief minister. At the most, the former chief minister may get the party state president post which may not happen immediately.

Yeddyurappa had hoped that the meeting at his residence would serve as a show of his strength in the party. However, in a calculated move, his detractors including arch rival K S Eshwarappa, the incumbent state president, promptly made it to the meeting obviously to scuttle the intentions of Yeddyurappa. Even the chief minister made a brief appearance to give an impression that all is well with the party.

Around 70 to 80 MLAs, MLCs and MPs turned up at the luncheon meeting. Numbers notwithstanding, Yeddyurappa had no hesitation in openly telling his party colleagues that he should replace Chief Minister Gowda as reportedly promised by Gadkari. His stand was endorsed by a dozen of his loyalists who felt the central leadership should act immediately. But there was stiff resistance by many leaders who are not seeing eye-to-eye with Yeddyurappa in his plans to oust Gowda.

Yeddyurappa, as in the past, played the party loyalty card, resorted to theatrics and emotional powerplay. He even shed tears, it is said. “You all know I have worked relentlessly for four decades for the party. I stepped down as chief minister following an assurance from party president Nitin Gadkari that I would be reinstated in six months. The time has come to fulfil the promise”, Yeddyurappa told his guests.

Expects decision

Yeddyurappa said he would wait till February 27, which incidentally is his birthday. “I expect a favourable decision by then, failing which I will have my way and you can have your way”, he reportedly said.

While no resolution was passed at the meeting except that all decisions should be taken by the party Delhi bosses, some of the Yeddyurappa hardcore loyalists signed a memorandum addressed to Gadkari seeking that their leader be reinstalled as chief minister. Around 35 legislators are understood to have signed the memorandum.

At the same time, Yeddyurappa’s penchant for chief ministership came in for severe opposition from legislators, especially those with RSS background. They said no individual was greater than the party and it was due to the efforts of lakhs of workers that the BJP had come to power in the State.

On his part, Eshwarappa said the party central leadership would take a final decision in the matter.

Yeddyurappa will now be placing his demand before Gadkari during the latter’s stay in Bangalore. The Yeddyurappa camp is also likely to file a complaint with the party chief that the chief minister was too accommodative of the JD(S). They are alleging that Gowda appointed Justice Chandrashekaraiah as the upa lokayukta at the behest of the JD?(S).

Sadananda Gowda is learnt to have decided to complain to the bosses that the associates of Yeddyurappa have been creating problems for the party by issuing controversial statements.

Gowda will put forth the argument that the Yeddyurappa camp has been making baseless allegations against him and creating confusion. 

Interestingly, Yeddyurappa did not even acknowledge the support of his new foe-turned friend and fellow lingayat Jagadish Shettar, let alone project the Hubli strongman as Sadandanda Gowda’s replacement.

The meeting also witnessed Yeddyurappa’s loyalists indulging in Sadananda Gowda-bashing. Gowda’s reported loyalty to the JD(S), appointment of Upa Lokayukta Justice Chandrashekaraiah at the behest of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, ignoring some of the BJP MLAs while releasing grants to the Assembly constituencies represented by the JD (S) and independent MLAs were taken up by the legislators.

Yeddyurappa’s meeting was more or less a repeat show of sorts of what had transpired at the same residence in last August when he had to step down as the chief minister following the Lokayukta report on mining.

At that time too, the party loyalists and the supporters of Yeddyurappa had stood divided. On Thursday too the scene was same. The loyalists of the party in August had left it to the party high command to take a final call on as to who should head the government.

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