NEW DELHI: BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Friday rejected the reports that there was any crisis in the party in Karnataka over BS Yeddyurappa's ultimatum to reinstate him as the Chief Minister of the state again. However, he said that question of changing Sadananda Gowda as Chief Minister does not arise.
"There is no political crisis, party is united. After the UP polls, we have a Lok Sabha by-poll in Karnataka. There are small issues, we will solve the problems," he said while addressing the media after his meeting with Yeddyurappa on Friday. He further said that the Karnataka BJP core group has been invited to Delhi on March 3 to discuss the issue.
Gadkari met Yeddyurappa and Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda in Bangalore on Friday. The BJP is now in a huddle with all its MLAs and MPs to try and solve the crisis.
Sources have said that the party has made it clear to the former chief minister that there will be no leadership change in Karnataka. Gadkari has given no assurance to Yeddyurappa on reinstating him as the Chief Minister. In fact, Gadkari has asked Yeddyurappa to take up the matter with BJP parliamentary board in Delhi, sources said.
Reacting to the reports, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that there is no crisis in the party in Karnataka.
BJP minister SA Ramdas said that the agenda of Gadkari's meeting was discussing future programs of the party and coordination between party and the government in the state. "on differences within the party. Naturally they are there, they will discuss and address those problems. High command will take appropriate decision at an appropriate time," he said.
BJP MLC CH Vijayashankar said, "We are not supposed to speak on these issues. Differences of opinion is very common in every party. Definitely, we are going to sort it out."
According to sources, Yeddyurappa has said that he should be reinstated as the Chief Minister by the February 27, failing which he will decide on his future course of action.
He also said that Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda was getting too close for comfort to his rival JDS chief HD Deve Gowda.
At a meeting of legislators convened by Yeddyurappa at his Race Course residence, an apparently restless Yeddyurappa gave a piece of his mind and exhorted his supporters to exert pressure on the party leadership to make him chief minister again, sources close to him said.
Yeddyurappa spoke about his key contribution in building the party from the grassroots level in the state, and questioned his removal, pointing to some chief ministers in other states continuing in office despite court cases against them.
Yeddyurappa was forced to resign more than six months ago after a Lokayukta report indicted him for illegal mining, and has in recent weeks been making vigorous behind-the-scenes efforts to regain the chief ministership. Yeddyurappa had helped Sadananda Gowda become the Chief Minister after he was forced to resign.
Yeddyurappa turns 70 on February 27 and has extended invitation to all his supporting legislators to attend a lunch hosted by him on that day.
When his reaction was sought, Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda said, "Setting up of a deadline and leadership change are media creations".
"Don't devote importance to the lunch-gathering," he said on the Yeddyurappa-convened meeting which he could have attended till the end, but could not as he had to participate in a function in Mangalore. Gowda visited Yeddyurappa's residence for a short while.
Asserting that there is no leadership change, the Chief Minister said, "I will present the budget. There is no doubt in it".