Gadkari tries to retain Yeddyurappain party fold

BJP President Nitin Gadkari seems to have continued his efforts to retain tainted Karnataka former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, despite the strong Lingayat leader’s open defiance and threat to launch a new party.

Gadkari’s sympathy for Yeddyurappa was reflected in a television interview on Sunday, where he said that as head of the family he has to take care of a warring member. His remarks run contrast to senior BJP leader L K Advani’s call, at the recently-concluded Surajkund conclave, for zero tolerance against corruption in the party.

Describing Yeddyurappa as a “capable leader” who was facing Lokayukta probe, Gadkari said he was confident that the former chief minister would not quit the party.

Yeddyurappa believes that he has been cheated by the central leadership and his detractors in the party, as he was not made the chief minister though they had promised to rehabilitate him if corruption charges are not proved.

The party has been making several attempts to sort out internal bickering among the leaders of its State unit. The rift continues to raise its ugly head despite the fact that it had three chief ministers since forming the first BJP government in South India.

The BJP’s 2008 Assembly poll mascot, who has since fallen from grace, leaves no chance to embarrass the party. Even on second day of the protest in Karnataka against release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, Yeddyurappa launched a broadside against his bete noire and BJP Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar.

Previously, Yeddyurappa did not show up when emissaries Arun Jaitely and Ashok Pradhan had recently visited Bangalore to douse the bickering among the leaders and take a decision on changing the State unit president. Yeddyurappa had shown interest in becoming the State president, but he has been accusing Eshwarappa who is the president, Ananth Kumar and others of not only scuttling his chance but also ensuring that he is shown the door.

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