Lingayat strongman B S Yeddurappa has virtually opted himself out the ministerial quest at the Centre as it appeared that Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi would not allow in his Cabinet a leader who has Rs 40 crore corruption case pending against him.
In a letter to Modi on Thursday, the former Karnataka Chief Minister said, “I voluntarily and wholeheartedly offer my willingness to work towards the strengthening of the party in Karnataka.”
BJP sources said Yeddyurappa had been nudged by the Prime Minister-designate not to insist on a position in the new government until he gets a clean chit from the court. With Modi likely to accommodate only a couple of MPs from Karnataka as his ministers, the MP-elect from Shimoga was clearly not among the favourites.
Yeddyurappa recalled Modi’s advice during their meeting that since the expectations new government were “too high” across the country, at least some capable leaders should come forward to strengthen the party in their states.
Referring to his interaction with Modi at Gujarat Bhavan on May 18, he said: “You further expressed that since the expectations and aspirations are too high across the country at least few capable leaders must come forward to take the responsibility and work towards strengthening the party in their respective states.”
(“I am writing this letter with a great sense of responsibility and humility subsequent to our interaction at Gujarat Bhavan as well as after listening to your speech at Parliament’s Central Hall during the occasion of you being elected as BJP party’s parliamentary leader on 20th of this month,” Yeddyurappa said in his open letter which he posted on the social media.
“I recollect the summary of our interaction during our personal meeting along with the other BJP leaders of Karnataka at Gujarat Bhavan on the 18th of this month wherein you were pleased to admit that party’s victory was mainly due to the whole hearted support of the public at large including those of new voters SC/ST, OBC and youth,’” he said. )
Meanwhile, a plea by Yeddyurappa for discharge from a pending Rs 40 crore corruption case filed in a special CBI court was adjourned to June 5 for the agency to file objections to the plea.
The CBI on October 16, 2012, had charge sheeted the former Karnataka CM, his two sons, a son-in-law, JSW Steel and four Bellary-based JSW affiliates for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption in a case relating to the payment of Rs 40 crore as bribes to Yeddyurappa’s family and a family trust for iron ore mining favours in 2010 when he was the CM.