The move by the Bellary ministers to hold their own convention, ‘Swabhimani Samavesha’, in their home district against the wishes of the party’s top brass, to counter the Congress’ padayatra, is said to have triggered the political churning. Led by Excise Minister M P Renukacharya, a dissident-turned-Yeddyurappa-loyalist, the legislators urged the chief minister to take appropriate action against the Bellary troika — G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy and B Sriramulu for “crossing their limit”.
They are said to have vented their anger especially against Sriramulu. Ministers Balachandra Jarkiholi, Gulihatti Shekhar and legislators Belur Gopalakrishna, Sarvabhouma Bagali, B P Harish and Nagaraj were among those who met the chief minister. Sources said, the MLAs told Yeddyurappa that the recent actions of the Bellary trio had dented the party’s and the government’s image.
Interestingly, Renukacharya and other MLAs were part of the dissident group controlled by the Reddys when they revolted against Yeddyurappa last October before switching sides. Earlier in the day, Yeddyurappa remained closeted with several Cabinet colleagues at his residence.
While the official take was that preparations for the BJP’s convention at Davanagere, schedule to be held on August 2, was discussed, the recent development in Bellary also cropped up, the sources added.
Later speaking to reporters, Yeddyurappa was quite open about his disapproval with the Bellary trio’s decision to proceed with their ‘Swabhimani Samavesha’ to counter the Congress padayatra. “There was no need for Sriramulu to take out a padayatra by shaving his head. Being a part of the government, it is not proper to take out a padayatra separately”, he said.
However, he said the Reddy brothers’ decision to counter the Congress was, in a way, correct. Sriramulu’s yatra will be helpful in organising a rally in Bellary on August 20, he added.
“All possibilities will be explored to ensure that the BJP government completes its full term in power. If necessary, we will have a truck with the JD(S),” state party chief Eshwarappa said in Davanagere.
In the midst of these development, Janaradhana Reddy air-dashed to Bangalore from Bellary. There were speculation that he would be meeting Yeddyurappa. However, sources close to Reddy said he had arrived to attend some meetings.