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Karnataka: Will Yeddyurappa sink or swim?

Last updated on: July 28, 2011 14:02 IST

Karnataka: Will Yeddyurappa sink or swim?

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

After the party high command asked him to resign immediately on Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is fast running out of options, and at the moment, is holed up in his residence in Bengaluru, where he is mustering the support of his members of legislative assembly. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

"Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party high command directive to quit, Yeddyurappa continues to look into various options to show that he is still the preferred leader," said a source.

The source added that he is having a meeting with around 30 MLAs, including 8 state ministers, including C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani, Umesh Katti and Basavaraj Bommai. While some of his aides say that he may be considering dissolution of the House, his first ploy would be to show the high command that he still enjoys the support of a majority of the MLAs.

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Image: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa

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While the MLAs have been supporting his cause, they have made it clear to him that they would not want to split the party in the state at any cost.

The source said that they have suggested that he approach the high command once again to reconsider the situation, and that he should focus on choosing his successor, instead of fighting it out.

However, Yeddyurappa has conveyed to his close aides he fears that the moment he steps down, he will be sidelined, and unless there is a clear indication from the high command about the role he would have to play in naming his successor, there is no question of him even considering a step-down.

The CM is however aware that he will not be lucky this time, and it would be terribly embarrassing if he held on to his chair despite the Lokayukta report. He has even suggested to his MLAs that it would be better if they faced the people and dissolve the house, a suggestion that not many of them are open to.

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Image: BJP President Nitin Gadkari

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The MLAs feel that the BJP is in bad light at the moment and it would suicidal if they went to polls. Moreover, there is also the Governor may not accept this suggestion.

A source said that there is some activity in the Janata Dal-Secular-Congress camp, which is trying to form a government, in case Yeddyurappa decides to break up the BJP and pull down the government.

Though, no BJP leaders would accept that situation.

While this meeting would go on until late in the afternoon, there is also talk about a successor. The high command wants to ensure a peaceful transition and does not want to upset anyone.

Nominating Jagadish Shettar or Ananth Kumar would not be agreeable to Yeddyurappa and hence they may opt for a consensus candidate in DV Sadananda Gowda. The source added that he is not considered a threat in the BJP circles, and even Yeddyurappa may finally agree to his candidature.

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Image: Ananth Kumar

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However the other issue is that if Yeddyurappa is finally forced out, he would want the Reddy brothers (G Janardhan Reddy, G Karunakara Reddy and G Somashekara Reddy) to follow suit.

There has been some pressure on the Reddy brothers to step down, but there is no decision on that yet. The Reddy brothers have also joined the chief minister's meeting and are discussing the same issue.

B Sriramulu, the BJP minister hailing from Bellary who has also been named in the Lokyukta report just informed that the entire party is bound by the decision of the high command.

"There is no question of going against what the high command has said. The consultation process after what they have is still going on, and we shall have a decision soon," he said.


Image: Karunakara Reddy and Janardhana Reddy

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