Yeddy Keeps BJP on Edge

The Kar­nataka strong­man falls in line once again, but won’t keep quiet un­til his loy­al­ist is in the CM’S chair, says


IM­ME­DI­ATELY AF­TER BS Yed­dyu­rappa’s two-day re­bel­lion drama that started on 14 May failed to move the BJP for a change in the state lead­er­ship, the CBI, on di­rec­tions of the apex court, moved in on him in a se­ries of raids at his firm and houses, as well as those of his rel­a­tives. Though the for­mer chief min­is­ter was reigned in by the high com­mand from split­ting the party, in­sid­ers say that his pri­mary ob­jec­tive from the fiz­zled re­bel­lion was to get the party to sup­port him in the min­ing case and pre­vent his op­po­nents within it from us­ing the CBI probe to tar­get him.

The im­me­di­ate cat­a­lyst for the Lin­gayat leader’s pur­ported move of pub­licly an­nounc­ing a break from the BJP was the Supreme Court decision on 11 May to in­sti­tute a CBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion against him on charges of nepo­tism, land ac­qui­si­tion and favour­ing top min­ing com­pa­nies. For Kar­nataka Chief Min­is­ter Sadananda Gowda, the CBI probe has come as a lifesaver, end­ing any chance Yed­dyu­rappa had of be­ing made chief min­is­ter again.

On 15 May, CBI sleuths raided the Pr­erana Ed­u­ca­tion So­ci­ety owned by Yed­dyu­rappa, houses at Race Course and Dol­lars Colony in Ben­galuru and of those close to him in Shi­moga in con­nec­tion with the 20 crore do­na­tion probe the So­ci­ety re­ceived from South West Min­ing Limited, a com­pany owned by MP Naveen Jin­dal. Ad­di­tion­ally, the in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency is also prob­ing a case of un­due favour, where land worth 40 lakh be­long­ing to Yed­dyu­rappa’s rel­a­tives was al­legedly bought for 20 crore by the min­ing com­pany.

Though Yed­dyu­rappa has put up a brave face in public and said that he would be ex­on­er­ated by the CBI, in pri­vate, he has been pulling strings to see to it that he gets away scot-free. “All this drama of de­fi­ance was to make sure that he gets sup­port in the min­ing case,” says a se­nior leader on the con­di­tion of anonymity. “He is afraid that the CBI is out to get him. He thinks that if he doesn’t put some­one loyal in the chief min­is­ter’s chair, there’s a fair chance that his en­e­mies in the party would co­op­er­ate with the CBI in bring­ing him down.”

Hence, one of his key de­mands in the com­ing days would be that Gowda should step down and a man of his choice should be­come the chief min­is­ter.

Ear­lier, Yed­dyu­rappa had plans to project his pro­tégé Shobha Karand­laje as the chief min­is­ter but know­ing that his own fol­low­ers would op­pose her can­di­da­ture (she is a po­lit­i­cal light­weight and a Vokkaliga, rather than a Lin­gayat), he had de­cided to set­tle for ei­ther In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Mu­rugesh Ni­rani or PWD Min­is­ter CM Udasi. He wants the chief min­is­ter of his choice to help him in pre­vent­ing cru­cial doc­u­ments com­ing in the hands of the CBI,

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