BANGALORE/NEWDELHI: The uncertainty over the survival of the first-ever BJP government in the state continued with B S Yeddyurappa’s faction threatening to boycott the Budget session starting Tuesday, if the Lingayat leader was not reinstated as chief minister.
Yeddyurappa, who has been camping in a resort with over 60 MLAs, on Monday twice rejected BJP national president Nitin Gadkari’s invitation for talks, while asking the latter to first spell out his stand on the leadership issue.
The rebels, who will only attend the session’s first day’s proceedings — to offer condolences to departed souls — have also fielded their nominee B J Puttaswamy for the Rajya Sabha elections hoping to make it tough for the party’s second nominee. Puttaswamy, however, was suspended from the party by state BJP chief K S Eshwarappa. The 10 MLAs who signed his papers were also issued notices.
With Yeddyurappa adamant, the party has decided to convene a meeting of the parliamentary board late Monday night.
According to sources, the formula could be allowing Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to present the Budget and then replacing him with Yeddyurappa.
However, Gadkari told reporters in Mumbai that no decision will be taken under pressure and asked Yeddyurappa to be patient.
Opposition Leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley also expressed confidence of solving the crisis. “It is an internal matter and we will solve it soon,” he told reporters in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, the Yeddyurappa camp is trying every trick in the book to shore up its support by trying to drive a wedge in Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarakiholi’s camp by assuring them ministerial berths. Jarakiholi, who claims the support of 20 MLAs, has been threatening to resign if Yeddyurappa is made the CM.
“Three of Jarakiholi’s supporters — S K Bellubbi, Raju Kage and Sarvabhouma Bagali — expressed their willingness to support Yeddyurappa,’’ said a minister in the Yeddyurappa camp.
On his part, Jarakiholi is camping in Bellary with 12 MLAs and is expected to pose a threat to Yeddyurappa by donning the role of a “suicide bomber”. The Jarakiholi camp is nursing a grudge against Yeddyurappa who got the Speaker to disqualify them to save his chair in 2010. The Supreme Court set aside the Speaker’s order.
Meanwhile, 12 of Yeddyurappa’s supporter MPs called on Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj in Delhi demanding that “he be reinstated”.
“I told them that the party forum will decide on whether Yeddyurappa should be reinstated. The BJP core group will have to decide,” Swaraj said. One MP added that “if their demand was not met, they could consider resigning from their posts”.