Jaitley arrives to quell State BJP standoff

While an official announcement on the constitution of the core committee is yet to be made, the development in effect clips the wings of Chief Minister Yeddyurappa. The proposed committee, it is learnt, will have to be consulted before taking any major decisions.

The setting up of such a committee was one of the demands made by senior minister K S Eshwarappa who had gone public on the “dilution” of the party’s policies and principles.
According to party sources, the composition of the core committee will be decided jointly by the party central leadership in consultation with senior members of the Sangh parivar.
Despite Thursday’s developments, the party still need to tackle the standoff between the Reddy brothers of Bellary and the chief minister.

Parleys with ministers

In a day which witnessed rapid developments, BJP national general secretary and newly appointed party in-charge of Karnataka, Arun Jaitley, landed in Bangalore and held consultation with Yeddyurappa, party state president D V Sadananda Gowda and several ministers and legislators in batches.

Jaitley, who stayed through the day at a five-star hotel, separately met the CM’s loyalists, Eshwarappa and also the legislators who had been openly demanding the sacking of some ministers in the Yeddyurappa’s Cabinet.

Jaitley first met Yeddyurappa, Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar. The meeting was followed by nine of Yeddyrappa’s loyalists in the Cabinet — R Ashok, Katta Subramanya Naidu, C M Udasi, Aravind Limbavalli, Viveshwara Hegde Kageri, Ramachandra Gowda, Umesh Katti, V S Acharya and Basavaraj Bommai — parading themselves before Jaitley. They were accompanied by Rajya Sabha MP Prabhakar Kore. However, Minister Shobha Karandlaje was conspicuous by her absence. The loyalists are said to have told Jaitley that those raising the voice of dissent need to be disciplined and Yeddyurappa be given a free hand to control them.

Meeting separately with Jaitley, Eshwarappa reportedly said his recent outburst was not against the style of functioning of Yeddyurappa but only on the “dilution” of the party’s policies and principles in some pockets in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. He is said to have expressed that no “BJP face” was seen in the government. Major decisions need to be taken after taking senior ministers and party members into confidence.

The legislators who are questioning the style of functioning of the CM were articulate when they met Jaitley. These legislators, including M P Renukacharaya, Bellur Gopalkrishna and A Ramdas, minced no words while expressing their observations, grievances and demands.

Sources said they were of the view that in the last one year, only a dozen ministers had been taking ‘scope’ in administrative matters. They also told him that transfers had become a big business in the last one year which had dented the image of the government. Besides, the party has been totally sidelined. The interference of the CM’s family and minister Shobha Karandlaje should be stopped and appointments to boards and corporations need to be made afresh, they told Jaitley, sources said.

Meanwhile, the demands of the Reddy brothers of Bellary are yet to be addressed by the party. Ministers Karunakara Reddy, Janardhana Reddy and their business partner Sriramulu kept off from the Cabinet meeting.

Janardhana Reddy and Sriramulu were in Tirupati to offer a diamond-studded crown to Lord Venkateshwara. They stayed back in Tirupati after offering the crown and did not come to Bangalore to meet Jaitley. Besides, ministers Balachandra Jarakiholi, Shivanagouda Naik and Anand Asnotikar, who have identified themselves with the Reddys, also stayed away from the Cabinet meeting.

Jaitley is scheduled to leave Bangalore at 10 am on Friday, but before that he would be meeting Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar, sources said.
DH News Service

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