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When Yeddy bonds with Reddy, BJP is NOT happy

Last updated on: November 8, 2011 14:24 IST

When Yeddy bonds with Reddy, BJP is NOT happy

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Vicky Nanjappa

The BJP is worried about an alliance between the two former foes -- B S Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers, reports Vicky Nanjappa

After spending 23 days in jail, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa will finally walk free on Tuesday evening, after his plea for bail was granted by the high court. But his legal battles are far from over as he is facing several cases of corruption.

While his loyalists have stuck by him through these tough times, even his opponents in the party have realised that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader can't be taken lightly.

On Monday, state BJP president K S Eshwarappa visited the former CM in jail and termed it a 'courtesy visit'. Incidentally, Eshwarappa has been a vocal dissenter, openly opposed Yeddyurappa's leadership. His visit indicates that the BJP top brass is trying to avoid a revolt within its ranks during such a sensitive time. But they also don't want Yeddyurappa to cozy up to the Reddy faction.


Image: Karunakara Reddy and Janardhana Reddy

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Keeping the Reddy brothers -- G Karunakara, G Janardhana, G Somashekara -- at a distance has proved to be a tough task for the BJP. Given their considerable political and financial clout, Yeddyurappa had found it difficult to deal with the Reddy brothers. He has felt that the top brass never let him act against them. But after the damning revelations of the report on illegal mining, the party decided against giving a state cabinet berth to any of them, prompting senior leader and their aide Sriramulu to resign as a legislator.

While Sriramulu has been threatening to contest the re-election as an independent candidate, Yeddyurappa has sent feelers expressing his desire to support the disgruntled leader. The BJP is worried about an alliance between the two former foes, who just might turn friends.

After Yeddyurappa was arrested, a deliberate attempt was made by party leaders to phase him out. But the wily former CM rallied all his loyalists as a show of strength for those who were plotting against him. He even took on L K Advani and ordered his supporters to skip the BJP patriarch's rally in Bangalore.


Image: B S Yeddyurappa

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Though upset with Yeddyurappa's antics, BJP's top leaders have realised that taking a tough stance against him might have a disastrous effect. So they have downplayed the incident.

His loyalists are still hopeful that their leader will be cleared of all charges and will soon return to active politics. They believe that he is the only BJP leader who can ensure a victory for the party in the state elections. Yeddyurappa's presence at the helm of affairs will also draw in the considerable number of votes from the Lingayat community.

Party leaders are unlikely to take any major steps against him as they are hoping that the judiciary will be able to corner him. They will also try their best to avoid an alliance between the factions led by Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers.

The state unit of the BJP will be careful in its dealings with Yeddyurappa and will try to meet his demands for the time being. Yeddyurappa's faction has indicated that he may be considering an alliance with arch-rival and Janata Dal–Secular leader H D Kumaraswamy. But sources confirmed that though Kumaraswamy had visited the jail in which Yeddyurappa was lodged, he did not meet the beleaguered former CM. The rumour had been floated by his camp to grab the attention of the central leadership.


Image: Yeddyurappa in happier times

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BJP's Karnataka unit will hold a meeting today to discuss the forthcoming by-poll in Bellary rural -- the constituency left vacant by Sriramulu after he resigned from the assembly. The party will finalise a candidate after consultations with Yeddyurappa. This topic was reportedly discussed by Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa on Monday when the met in jail.

Sriramulu has told the party that he would contest the polls on a BJP ticket only if he is assured of a cabinet berth. Otherwise, he will contest as an independent. The BJP doesn't want to lose a leader like Sriramulu, who is capable of winning an election in the mining region of Bellary.

Along with his legal wrangles, Yeddyurappa will have to find a way around this latest political crisis when he finally walks out of jail today evening.


Image: Sriramulu

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