Same plot, different actors

Same plot, different actors

DVS, supporters stay away from meeting, insisting their demands be met

Same plot, different actors

The acrimony between Yeddyurappa and anti-Yeddyurappa groups over the change of guard erupted on Tuesday with Chief Minster D V Sadananda Gowda staging a rebellion against the party high command and refusing to resign from his post unless his demands, including that of making him the State party chief, are fulfille

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The BJP Legislature Party (BJPLP) meeting was scheduled to be held at 11 am at Hotel Capitol on Raj Bhavan Road to elect Jagadish Shettar as the new leader, who would stake claim to form a new government. For this, Gowda was supposed to resign as the chief minister.

Eleven months ago, this was the same venue that saw the election of Gowda as the BJP Legislature Party leader.

He had defeated Shettar by a margin of about five votes. At that time, Gowda was Yeddyurappa’s choice. The former chief minister had pitted Gowda against Shettar. But today, Shettar is the choice of Yeddyurappa.

But Gowda and his supporters flung a surprise by not turning up at the BJPLP venue at the scheduled time.

Apart from the State party chief post for Gowda, they wanted K S Eshwarappa be made the deputy chief minister and equal share of the Cabinet berths. 

The drama enacted by Gowda and his supporters seemed similar to what Yeddyurappa and his loyalists had played out a few days ago to unseat him.

They had held the high command to ransom by making nine of the ministers resign. Now Gowda, along with his supporters, threatened not to vacate the chief minister’s post unless their demands are met.

Yeddy supporters

While pro-Yeddyurappa MLAs were waiting at the venue for the meeting to begin, Gowda and his supporters stayed at ‘Anugraha’, the chief minister’s official residence.

The party central observers –– Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh –– were left waiting at Hotel Lalit Ashok. BJP leaders and MLAs opposing Yeddyurappa, including Eshwarappa, Ananthkumar and Balachandra Jarkiholi, became united after Yeddyurappa opposed Gowda’s appointment as State party chief and insisted that the party chief should also be a person of his choice.

Yeddyurappa was also not in favour of creating deputy chief minister posts.

But, the anti-Yeddyurappa group argued that heeding these demands would bring both the party and the government under the former chief minister’s control. Knowing that they would lose their bargaining power once Gowda resigns, the group decided to delay the resignation till their demands are met.

Party sources said Gowda even has the backing of senior party leaders, including L K Advani, who is against Yeddyurappa controlling the party in the State. It is said Gowda had discussed the developments with Advani over phone.

Both the groups refused to relent through the day. They even resorted to a show of strength by releasing a list of MLAs supporting them. While the anti-Yeddyurappa group claimed the support of 51 MLAs, Yeddyurappa supporters claimed they had 69 MLAs on their side.

To prevent the State unit from becoming a laughing stock, the central observers are learnt to have suggested both the sides to fulfill the formality of holding the BJPLP meeting and electing Shettar the leader.

It was because of this that Gowda did not submit his resignation to the Governor soon after Shettar’s election as the LP leader.

The meeting was finally held around 4.30 pm.

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