Jaitley fails in truce mission

Reddys spirit away 10-14 rebel MLAs to Hyderabad; headcount begins

Jaitley fails in truce mission

The rebel MLAs and ministers, led by the Reddy brothers, who are projecting Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar as an alternative to Yeddyurappa, are believed to have spirited away 10-14 legislators to a hotel on the outskirts of Hyderabad, as part of a move to pre-empt any effort on the part of the chief minister to woo them back to his fold.
Meanwhile, another group of MLAs led by Anand Asnotikar is camping in Goa.

To muster support from among the MLAs, both sides have begun a headcount. The CM’s camp said Yeddyurappa has the assured backing of at least 70 legislators, while the Reddy camp believes it has the backing of 40 MLAs, including Shettar’s followers.

So intense has the rivalry become that Jaitley could not bring about a truce. The CM’s detractors insisted that if their demand was not conceded,  then the alternative would be to convene the BJP legislator party meeting where the MLAs would express their views on the leadership question. On the flip side, it is believed that Yeddyurappa was not in favour of such a meeting.

Minister Janardhana Reddy  minced no words when he declared in Bellary that it was time for a leadership change. His minister brother Karunakara Reddy is learnt to have placed a similar demand before Jaitley. 

But the CM continued to be assertive. Mounting an offensive against the Reddys, he declared he would be left with no choice but to seek the party high command’s consent to initiate action against the rebels.

Yeddyurappa also claimed that people “jealous” of his good work in the flood-ravaged districts were behind the conspiracy to dislodge him.

Putting up a brave front, he declared that he will not bow down to any pressure tactic. However, while being closeted with a few confidants, the CM reportedly remarked that if the rebels continued to insist a leadership change, he would not hesitate to be a “suicide bomber”.

So far it seems he has the full confidence of the party high command as well as the RSS, which have not indicated he should step down.

Shettar believes he has an outside chance to lead the government if the Reddys are able to strike a body blow to Yeddyurappa.

 Already cut up with Yeddyurappa, Shettar is being projected by the Reddys and the rebel MLAs, including some from North Karnataka, as an alternative to the CM.

While being in constant touch with Jaitley, Shettar continued to rebuff Yeddyurappa and his emissaries who have tried to pacify him by offering him the post of Deputy CM. About 21 MLAs met Shettar and expressed their wish to see him occupy the CM’s seat.
The Speaker shied away from making any statement publicly, but his supporters claimed he rejected outright Yeddyurappa’s offer.

The chief minister’s official residence, Shettar’s official bunglow, Keshav Kurupa and West End Hotel witnessed a flurry of meetings from morning till late in the evening.

Party leaders D V Sadananda Gowda, MP Ananth Kumar, Karunakara Reddy, Katta Subramanya Naidu, R Ashok, C T Ravi, A Ramdas, Prabhakar Kore and RSS Organising Secretary Santosh and others went into several rounds of huddles.

On Thursday, Karunakara Reddy and Health Minister Sriramulu held a lengthy discussion with Jaitley who had a separate meeting with Power Minister K S Eshwarappa.

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