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

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent BAN­GA­LORE

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.

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