Crisis facing BJP govt in Karnataka persists

 The crisis facing the BJP government in Karnataka today showed no signs of abating with the B S Yeddyurappa camp sticking to its guns demanding his reinstatement as Chief Minister.

MLAs loyal to the Karnataka BJP strongman are lodged in a resort on the city outskirts and appeared in no mood to soften their stand. Yeddyurappa is also keen on presenting the budget himself.

Yeddyurappa loyalist Beluru Gopalakrishna claimed that as many as 59 MLAs are their camp and that the number would swell to 70 by today.

Gopalakrishna said the party's central leadership had assured them that Yeddyurappa would be reinstated after he comes clean in an illegal mining case.

The BJP had forced Yeddyurappa to quit in July 2011 after he was indicted by the Lokyukta report on illegal mining that had triggered a political storm in the state.
Recently, the High Court quashed the charges against him in the report and also the reference made by the Governor to the Lokayukta to file an FIR and investigate them.

BJP State President, K S Eshwarappa, told reporters that the state unit would abide by any decision taken by the central leadership.The party's central leadership was watching the developments, he said, adding, it would decide on Yeddyurappa's "desire".

BJP's leadership is reportedly divided on the issue of reinstatement of Yeddyurappa who intensified his power struggle yesterday by claiming support of over half of party MLAs and demanded that the central leadership convene a legislature party meet within 48 hours.

"Wait for 48 hours. It is not a deadline. I am sure the party leadership will take a decision", he had said, apparently indicating that BJP will have to take a call on his demand for reinstating him as Chief Minister before his successor D V Sadananda Gowda presents his maiden budget on March 21.

The BJP has a strength of 120 legislators, including the Speaker, in the 224-member Assembly.

Amid the crisis, Chief Minister Gowda celebrated his 59th birthday on a low key yesterday and declared he would present the budget.

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