BANGALORE: Sending a strong signal to detractors of Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, BJP national president Nitin Gadkari has ruled out any change of leadership in the state.
Gadkari told reporters after attending the Chinthan Shibir organised by the state BJP unit on Friday that both Sadananda Gowda and his predecessor B S Yeddyurappa have provided good governance, taking Karnataka on the path of “development and denied that there was a political crisis in the state”.
“The party in Karnataka is united and providing good governance,” he said.
While agreeing that Yeddyurappa was meted out a “raw deal” by the Karnataka Lokayukta in its report on illegal mining, Gadkari, however, said the former chief minister is waging a legal battle and has to wait till he is cleared of all charges.
“After he gets justice, the party will definitely honour him,” he added.
While admitting that there were differences in the state unit, Gadkari expressed confidence that they would be sorted out amicably after holding meetings with state leaders.
“I have also called the state core committee members for talks to New Delhi on March 3 to discuss the issues,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari’s statement assumes importance as it came a day after Yeddyurappa demanded that he replace Sadananda Gowda during a luncheon meeting with his supporters.
While Gadkari’s statement was received with warmth by the Chief Minister’s supporters, it has come as a shock to the Yeddyurappa camp.
Gadkari also denied reports of any ultimatum set by Yeddyurappa and said “it is far from the truth”.
“Yeddyurappa is a popular leader in Karnataka and the party will respect him,” he added.
However, not convinced by the party’s national president’s response to their demand for a change in leadership, Yeddyurappa’s supporters were in a huddle at the latter’s residence to work out future strategies.
Losing no heart from Gadkari’s statement, Yeddyurappa’s supporters have reportedly decided to celebrate their leader’s 70th birthday in a big way on Monday and utilise it as an opportunity to convince the central leaders to heed their demands.