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BJP top brass wants no leadership change in K'taka: Gowda

Source: PTI
March 22, 2012 14:46 IST
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Amid mounting pressure from B S Yeddyurapa for his reinstatement, Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda on Thursday met the Bharatiya Janata Party top brass, including Nitin Gadkari and L K Advani, and said he had been assured that there would be no leadership change.

"I am specifically telling that the central leaders told me that at present there is no change of leadership or any other position in the party," Gowda told reporters after meeting the BJP central leaders in New Delhi.

Asked if the party leadership had asked him to step down, he said, "That question does not arise."

Gowda, who was accompanied by BJP state chief K Eswarappa, had called on Advani, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi. He then had a meeting with party president Gadkari, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Dharmendra Pradhan.

On Yeddyurappa building pressure on the party for his reinstatement, the chief minister said, "I don't know whether Yeddyurappa has come over here or he had discussions with the central leaders. That we are not aware because Yeddyurappa was not there when we discussed the matter with the central leadership."

Yeddyurappa, who has stepped up his campaign for reinstatement ever since the Karnataka high court set aside the Lokayukta order against him, is in the national capital to meet BJP leaders.

Yeddyurappa claimed he has no demands but his mission was obvious in that he would be meeting senior party leaders L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley.

Gowda also said that central leadership had told him that they were aware of the political developments in Karnataka.

"They have told me, they will resolve the problems and at present there is nothing more for discussions," he said.

The Karnataka chief minister said that he had a detailed discussion with the party leadership with regard to election results in Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency where the BJP was trounced by the Congress.

"We requested our central leaders to have a detailed discussion about the political activities that are going on in Karnataka," Gowda said.

He said the central leadership assured him that the election results would be looked into in a manner that the party's future prospects are kept in mind.

The BJP top brass appears to have come around to the view that Yeddyurappa should be reinstated but it wants 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.

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