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Is BJP divided over the Yeddyurappa crisis?

July 27, 2011 14:08 IST

It seems that the Bhartiya Janata Party leadership is at odds on whether to ask Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddurappa  to let go of his post, or let him continue following serious allegations of corruption by the Lokayukta.

In a statement that caused more embarrassment to the BJP, its national vice-president Shanta Kumar on Sunday had said that he had informed the party high command about the happenings in Karnataka when he was the party in-charge of the State, but his complaints were not taken seriously.

He had also said the BJP was fast becoming a "party of sons, daughters and relatives."

"I knew everything what Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde has now said... I had informed the high command about it, but no action was taken," Kumar had said.

Others seem to agree. "Yeddyurappa has become an albatross around the party's neck and the leadership does not know how to deal with the man charged with gross corruption. This is partly because he belongs to the Lingayat community, which holds the largest votes in the state," a senior leader of the party told on the condition of anonymity.

"He shamed the party when he allotted land to his family members at cheaper rates. Though the land was returned to the government, it caused a lot of harm to the party," said the leader.

"Yeddyurappa has told me that he would abide by the party's decision. Let the report be filed first, and we will let you know of our decision after we have studied it," BJP President Nitin Gadkari told on Tuesday.

"Let the report be filed and then we would discuss among ourselves and arrive at a conclusion,"Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, said when asked for his reaction on the excerpts of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's interviews.

This is not the first time that Yeddyurappa has caused embarrassment to the party.

M Venkia Naidu, who looked after Karnataka before Gadkari took over as party president, did not wish to discuss.

"Please discuss the matter with the new party state in-charge," Naidu told this scribe over phone from Hyderabad.  Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, who is known for her proximity with powerful Reddy brothers, did not take our calls.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi