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Yeddyurappa in Delhi, BJP summons Karnataka CM

Party president Nitin Gadkari has assured me that there will be no leadership change, says Sadananda Gowda.

Published: 22nd March 2012 12:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:40 PM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: As the BJP central leadership wrestled with the political crisis gripping its state unit in Karnataka, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today rushed to Delhi after being summoned by the party top brass, asserting he has been assured that there would be no change of guard.

Hours after B S Yeddyurappa, who is insisting on his reinstatement as chief minister, left for the national capital, Gowda, accompanied by Ministers S Suresh Kumar, Govind Karjol and S A Raveendranath, left here by a special aircraft.

"Party president Nitin Gadkari has assured (me) that there will be no leadership change. The discussions in Delhi would be centred around the causes that led to the defeat of BJP candidate in the Uudpi-Chikmagalur bye-election", he told reporters before departure.

BJP suffered a major loss of face when the party lost the seat held by Gowda himself before he was appointed as the Chief Minister in August last year replacing Yeddyurappa after his indictment by Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Yeddyurappa, who has hardened his position on his reinstatement after getting a clean chit from the high court recently on illegal mining charges, today attended the assembly budget session after calling a temporary truce bowing to the party leadership which is working out a solution.

The state BJP strongman, who has claimed the support of 70 MLAs, had herded them at a resort here flexing his muscles for the past few days in his latest attempt for a comeback.

On his Delhi trip, Yeddyurappa was accompanied by some ministers loyal to him. Party sources said state unit BJP President K S Eshwarappa has also been asked to reach Delhi by the party leaders.

In another related development, about 10 BJP MLAs under the leadership of Minister for Municipal Administration Balachandra Jarkiholi met Governor H R Bhardwaj and discussed the prevailing political situation.

Jarkiholi, emerging out of Raj Bhavan, however, described his meeting with the Governor as a courtesy call and said they discussed the state budget.

Jarkiholi, an anti-Yeddyurappa camp leader, has been opposing replacing Gowda as Chief Minister and two days ago even threatened that he and 19 MLAs were ready to quit their assembly membership in such a situation.

He said he along with some MLAs would reach Delhi tomorrow to oppose change in Gowda's leadership.

Yeddyurappa had been saying had he continued as Chief Minister, he would have presented the state's budget for 2012-13 with Rs one lakh crore outlay. But Gowda, who is also holding the Finance portfolio, did it today. The BJP top brass appears to have come around to the view that Yeddyurappa should be reinstated but it wanted him to wait till the process of biennial Rajya Sabha polls are completed on March 30.

However, with BJP losing the Udipi-Chikmagalur by-election by a huge margin of 45,724 votes and his decision to put up a rebel Rajya Sabha candidate seems to have speeded up Yeddyurappa's return.

The BJP suffered a major loss of face when the party lost the seat held by Gowda himself before he was appointed as the Chief Minister in August last year replacing Yeddyurappa.

BJP insiders said dissidence in the party and the image battered by corruption charges were the main reasons for the defeat of party candidate V Sunil Kumar from the Udipi- Chikmagalur seat.

Yeddyurappa had also put up a rebel candidate for the Rajya Sabha and announced that he and his MLAs will boycott the on-going budget session in Karnataka. However, he toned down when the Central leadership appeared conciliatory.

Yeddyurappa's open defiance of the party high command since the Karnataka High Court quashed the Lokayukta case against him is costing the party dear. He claims to have the support of around 66 MLAs and 12 MPs from the state.

Gowda, who left Bangalore by a special aircraft, was accompanied by Ministers S Suresh Kumar, Govind Karjol and S A Raveendranath.

On his Delhi trip, Yeddyurappa was accompanied by some ministers loyal to him. Party sources said state unit BJP President K S Eshwarappa has also been asked to reach Delhi by the party leaders.

In another related development, about 10 BJP MLAs under the leadership of Minister for Municipal Administration Balachandra Jarkiholi met Governor H R Bhardwaj and discussed the prevailing political situation.

Jarkiholi, emerging out of Raj Bhavan, however, described his meeting with the Governor as a courtesy call and said they discussed the state budget.

Jarkiholi, an anti-Yeddyurappa camp leader, has been opposing removal of Gowda as Chief Minister and two days ago even threatened that he and 19 MLAs were ready to quit their assembly membership in such a situation.



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