Yeddyurappa gets a breather

Top BJP leadership gives patient hearing to defiant dissidents

Yeddyurappa gets a breather


 Agreeing that dissidence should not be allowed to linger on, some members in the party’s central leadership are said to be of the opinion that the already vitiated atmosphere within the Karnataka BJP may go out of hand if allowed to continue.
 Hence, to send a firm message that the top leadership fully backed the chief minister, the Karnataka imbroglio may be discussed at the parliamentary board meeting to be held on Tuesday, which will mainly discuss the Jharkhand Assembly elections.
 At various meetings with State party leaders here on Sunday, the BJP top leadership ruled out a change of guard in the State but stressed that the dissident leaders should be heard  and their grievances addressed without, however, looking into the question of leadership change.

As Yeddyurappa’s supporting ministers and legislators met the central party leaders on  Sunday, party president Rajnath Singh, veteran leader L K Advani, senior leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley said Yeddyurappa should continue.
But regardless of the central leaders’ intervention, the Karnataka drama is likely to intensify on Monday as Revenue Minister Karunakara Reddy, leading the rebellion against the chief minister, will arrive here.
Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Jagdish Shettar, whom the dissidents are projecting as an alternative to Yeddyurappa, met Jaitley at the residence of party general secretary Ananth Kumar here.

Rebels’ strategies
On a day when the State’s political imbroglio was being sought to be settled in Delhi, rival camps in the State BJP in Bangalore continued to work out strategies to outdo each other. A visibly confident Yeddyurappa, assured of the top leadership’s support, hit out at the Reddy camp, saying he would not allow anybody to pledge the State’s welfare for their personal gains. The Reddy supporters, spread out in Hyderabad and Goa, remained firm that they did not mind toppling the Yeddyurappa government if their main demand for a change in leadership was not met.
The Reddy camp is busy in luring more MLAs to its side. According to sources, the MLAs  supporting  the Reddys brothers stood at 59.

Reddys’ plans
The Reddys are even planning, if the situation so demanded, to ask 15 of their supporters to resign as MLAs to reduce the BJP government to a minority.
The CM cut short his scheduled halt at Hubli and returned to Bangalore. He spent the day in Bangalore for the Rajyotsava celebrations and the launch of a commemorative stamp on the late actor Dr Rajkumar.

 Later in the afternoon, he left for Amaragola and Kuruvinakoppa village at Ron taluk in Gadag district to lay the foundation stone for the construction of  new layout for those who lost their dwellings in the October floods. In Delhi, Jaitley is understood to have told Shettar in no uncertain terms that there would be no change in leadership.
Shettar informed Jaitley that the numbers were not on Yeddyurappa’s side and asserted that the central leadership should talk to the Reddy brothers directly. The Speaker declined to speak to reporters.

State BJP president Sadananda Gowda told reporters that the party would resolve the issue by Monday evening. “You will hear good news from us,” he remarked.
Home Minister V S Acharya, who met Advani, Singh and Swaraj as Yeddyurappa’s representative, told reporters that the central leadership was clear that there would be no change of guard in the State.  Advani told party MLAs from Karnataka that the development was unfortunate and should not have happened.

 “He told us that there is no threat to the Karnataka Government. He even told us to tell Yeddyurappa not to come to Delhi regarding this issue. He also told us not to come in groups to Delhi,” Tumkur MLA G S Basavaraj told Deccan Herald.
Acharya said: “The leadership is firm that there will be no change of guard in the State. However, in the interests of the party, there may be a compromise over some of the issues raised by the dissident camp,” he remarked. Acharya was accompanied by Dhananjay Kumar, State Government special representative here, and Ganesh Karnik, party MLC.

Kumar added: “Whatever grievances the dissidents have, the leadership is open to listening to them and arriving at an amicable solution”.
 When asked about chances of a leadership change, Gowda, who met Rajnath Singh along with party MP D B Chandre Gowda in the evening, said: “Certainly not. The central leadership, especially Arun Jaitley, made it very clear that there will be no change in leadership in the party.” He also said there were some “small differences” among  colleagues in the cabinet which will be sorted out. Minsiters Suresh Kumar, R Ashok and Katta Subrahmanya Naidu met the party leaders.

Rift in party prolonged crisis
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s chair is safe for the moment. But there are indications that differences among leaders in the BJP central leadership might have cast a shadow on the Karnataka developments, DHNS reports from Delhi.

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