Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani is said to have refused to meet a delegation from Karnataka led by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Tuesday. The delegation wanted the intervention of the central leadership to retain former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in the party.
The party leaders, including Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashok, however, met Rajnath Singh, Murali Manohar Joshi, Ananth Kumar, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Dharmendra Pradhan.
Advani, who is reportedly opposed to giving Yeddyurappa any post in the party till he is cleared of corruption charges, refused to meet the State leaders.
“Whatever the issues related to Yeddyurappa should be discussed at the (party) president Gadkari level. I don’t want to deal with such things,” Advani reportedly told the team, according to sources in the party.
The delegation included ministers who have not identified themselves with any side, such as Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, A Ramdas and Govind Karjol.
Ministers in Yeddyurappa’s camp, including Umesh Katti, C M Udasi, V Somanna and Basavaraj Bommai, were also part of the team.
They requested party leaders to ensure that the Lingayat leader did not quit the party in the light of the upcoming Assembly polls.
The State leaders sought a meeting with Gadkari, who is away in Nagpur. Gadkari,however, asked Jaitley and Pradhan to meet them and sort out the problems.
In the meeting, none of the State leaders insisted that Yeddyurappa be made the State unit president or be declared the chief ministerial candidate in the coming Assembly elections as demanded by the Lingayat strongman. But they did recommend that he be given a suitable post, so as to retain him in the party.
While promising to take up the case with the party’s highest level, Jaitley reportedly asked the State leaders to advise Yeddyurappa not to make any hasty decisions to quit.
“The party leaders also accepted the fact that Yeddyurappa’s is important for the party and promised to look into the issue,” Eshwarappa told reporters after the meeting.
Though some of the leaders at the national level favoured giving Yeddyurappa a post, a section of leaders opposed it, saying that until he obtained a clean chit from the court, it would be unfair to give him any post.
With Gadkari himself facing corruption charges, the party’s national leaders are in a quandary in dealing with Yeddyurappa, who has threatened to launch a new party soon.
BJP MPs join ‘retain BSY’ campaign
A section of BJP MPs from Karnataka on Tuesday decided to extend their support to the ‘retain Yeddyurappa in the BJP’ effort by ministers loyal to the former chief minister, reports DHNS from Bangalore.
D B Chandre Gowda, Suresh Angadi, Ayanur Manjunath, G S Basavaraj, at a meeting here, planned to speak to the party’s Central leaders and request them to persuade Yeddyurappa not to quit the BJP.
However, Yeddyurappa told reporters that he would go ahead with his plans to float a new party.