Charge of Yeddy brigade rattles BJP top brass
K’taka CM refuses to quit, says he enjoys support of 73 of 120 MLAS; pressure on BJP to suspend him
The state BJP is staring squarely into the face of a split in the party as Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa went back on his assurance to quit the CM’s post after July 31. He declared on Friday that he would not step down as he had the support of 73 of 120 party MLAs (including the speaker). The showdown has brought the BJP high command under tremendous pressure to suspend Yeddyurappa from the party.
Yeddyurappa delivered yet another shock to BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley on Friday when he questioned his party high command’s insistence on his resignation. The CM invited the MLAs for a breakfast meeting, but turned the conclave into a show-of-strength to question the credibility of Lokayukta’s report. The BJP high command’s decision to ask Yeddyurappa to quit was based on the Lokayukta’s report on illegal mining indicting him for causing a loss of Rs16,085 crore to the state’s exchequer.
Yeddyurappa’s confidence was further bolstered when Bellary’s Reddy brothers (who are cabinetranked ministers), too, rubbished the Lokayukta report, and termed the high command’s decision “harsh”. Party MP DB Chandre Gowda said they would try to convince the BJP high command not to consider the report as sacrosanct as it had failed to provide an opportunity for the accused to defend themselves. Excise minister MP Renukacharya and MLA BP Harish said Yeddyurappa enjoyed the support of 73 MLAs, 21 MLCs and 15 MPs.
As the situation threatened to get out of control, Jaitley and Rajnath Singh rushed to Yeddyurappa’s residence to resolve the impasse. The talks, however, failed as Yeddyurappa reportedly set tough demands.