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Step down NOW, BJP top brass tells Yeddyurappa

Last updated on: July 28, 2011 11:50 IST

Step down NOW, BJP top brass tells Yeddyurappa

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The Bhartiya Janata Party's Parliamentary Board in New Delhi on Thursday unanimously decided that there was a need for a change in the party leadership in Karnataka and advised Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to resign from his office.

The meeting was held at party president Nitin Gadkari's residence and was attended by senior leaders such as L K Advani, who chaired the meeting, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh and other members of the parliamentary board.

The BJP's decision comes in the wake of Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde indicting the CM and his family in his report on the illegal mining racket in the state.

Earlier, Yeddyurappa had met BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday morning, but mentioned nothing about stepping down.

"I am going again to New Delhi again on July 31 to discuss the Lokyukta report. I was discussing the issue with the high command till 2.30 am on Thursday. I have called for a cabinet meeting, and will discuss the report again," he told journalists on his return to Bengaluru.

Yeddyurappa appeared defiant and claimed he has not been asked to resign.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi and Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru with Agencies.

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Image: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa

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BJP sources said in the wake of Yeddyurappa's indictment by Lokayukta Santosh Hegde in his report, his continuance has become untenable.

Sources said usually a meeting of the Parliamentary Board is called only when some big decision has to be taken.

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Image: Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari

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In the meeting with Gadkari and senior central party leaders Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Dharmendra Pradhan, the political fallout of the Lokayukta report was discussed with Yeddyurappa.

The chief minister tried to convince the central leadership that the charges made in the report were not new and a court case was already pending in the matter.

However, the central leadership conveyed to him that his continuance would weaken the BJP's fight against corruption, especially since the monsoon session of Parliament begins next week.

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Image: Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde

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Step down NOW, BJP top brass tells Yeddyurappa

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Thursday promises to be an action-packed day for Karnataka. A cabinet meeting has been convened at 3.30 pm following which BJP legislators will meet in Bangalore to decide on their future course of action.

Earlier, at the start of the meeting, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu told mediapersons, "We have heard the Karnataka chief minister, we have heard the advocate general's views and seen the report and we will take a decision now".

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Image: Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu

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Asked as to what transpired at Wednesday's meeting at Gadkari's residence, Former Karnataka BJP president and Udipi MP D V Sadananda Gowdasaid Yeddyurappa explained his views on the situation arising out of the Lokayukta report.

He said other senior party leaders also submitted their reports on the current political situation in the state.

On Yeddyurappa convening a meeting of his party supporters, Gowda said, "It is Yeddyurappa who built the party in Karnataka. I don't think he will do anything that will damage the party".

"We will abide by the decision of the party board," he said.

Asked if he was in the race for the post of chief minister, he said, "At this stage, I don't think there is any change of leadership".


Image: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa

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