Gowda safe but Yeddy insists on return

By: | Updated: 22 Mar 2012 09:39 PM

Karnataka chief minister D Sadananda Gowda may be safe for now
even as his predecessor BS Yeddyurappa dug in his heels and met Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday seeking his
reinstatement after being cleared of some corruption charges.

Both the leaders were in Delhi separately campaigning vehemently with the
national leadership of the party that reserved its final verdict.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said Gadkari "will take an
appropriate decision" on the issue in consultation with party's central
leaders. He called upon the Karnataka leadership to "maintain strict party

Sources in the party said the BJP did not want to take a decision in a
hurry and would rather take a holistic view of the other graft cases faced
by Yeddyurappa, who hails from influential Lingayat community in the

They said that any change at the helm was unlikely to be made during the
Budget Session in Karnataka and or at least till the first phase of
Parliament's Budget Session.

They said the leadership was wary that reinstatement of Yeddyurappa at
this stage could be used by the Congress to counterattack the BJP on the
issue of corruption.

But they added that party's defeat in Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha
by-election had not helped the cause of Gowda and had reinforced the
perception that the Lingayat strongman was crucial to the party's
prospects in the state.

But Yeddyurappa, after his meeting with Gadkari, said the party will take
"right decision in the interst of the party and people of the state". But
expressed confidence he will be reinstated.

"I am confident the party will take right decision."

But the former chief minister intends to stay put in Delhi at least till
Friday to meet senior leaders including LK Advani and press for his

Gowda, however, said he had been told by the central leadership that there
would not be any change of leadership at present.

"I am specifically telling that central leaders have told that there is no
change of leadership at present... or no change in any other positions,"
Gowda told reporters after meeting the party president.

Gowda said he was not aware of Yeddyurappa's meeting with Gadkari.

"I don't know if Yeddyurappa has come, or if he had discussion, because he
was not there when we discussed the matters."

The chief minister said he discussed the outcome of Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok
Sabha by-election, which the BJP lost, and "requested the central
leadership to have detailed discussion about political activities in

Yeddyurappa who became the BJP's first chief minister in the southern
state after the May 2008 elections was forced to quit in July last year in
the wake of his indictment in Lokayukta report on illegal mining and
corruption charges.

He chose his aide Gowda as his successor hoping that he would return to
the power after being cleared of the corruption charges. But that has not
happened so far.

Yeddyurapa stepped up demand for his reinstatement following a Karnataka
High Court judgment quashing the order of sanction granted by the governor
HR Bhardwaj for his prosecution on the basis of an FIR filed by the
Lokayukta police.

The crisis drama took a high turn earlier this week when Yeddyurappa
supported by a group of nearly 70 of the BJPs 110 legislators in Karnataka
moved into a five-star resort on the outskirts of Bangalore threatening
boycott of the Budget Session. They returned to work in Assembly only when
Yeddyurappa asked them to do so.

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First Published: 22 Mar 2012 09:39 PM
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