Beleaguered former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa praised Sonia Gandhi and Congress,made a veiled attack on BJP leadership while spurning conciliatory moves to defuse the crisis in the party in Karnataka.
Stepping up his attack on his successor Sadananda Gowda,Yeddyurappa called him a ‘betrayer’ for not vacating the chief ministership in six months to facilitate his come back as promised when he quit in July last over the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
Gowda rushed to Delhi to discuss the crisis with party chief Nitin Gadkari and other top leaders,a day after it was triggered by nine ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa handing over their resignations to their leader.
State BJP President K S Eswarappa went into damage control mode trying to pacify the party strongman during nearly hour-long discussions and said he believed the crisis would be resolved within two days.
But sources close to Yeddyurappa said he not only refused to answer calls from central leaders but also turned down the conciliatory efforts made by Eswarappa.
At the meeting which was also attended by Law Minister S Suresh Kumar,Yeddyurappa vent out his anger over the letter written by Gowda to Gadkari seeking disciplinary action against seven ministers loyal to him,sources said.
In Delhi,Gowda said he has not received the resignation letters either from the ministers or the MLAs. “I read about it through the newspapers that about 7 ministers,15 MLAs have submitted their resignation to Yeddyurappa. I can only react when I get their resignations in my hand.”
Yeddyurappa was critical of Gowda’s comments that a politician cannot expect God to wash off his sins by making offerings in remarks seen as a dig at him.
Sadananda Gowda hoped that the issue will be resolved. “We have had so many tussles earlier also. We have solved everything. I hope everything will be resolved,” he told reporters in Delhi.
Embarrassing the BJP leadership,the sulking Yeddyurappa praised Gandhi and her party for being supportive of leaders facing trouble “unlike” his own party.
“I have to praise Sonia Gandhi. I noticed that Congress party and its people are united and supportive if any one of their party members gets into trouble. They help each other and resolve the problems,” he said at a function here.
Emerging from the parleys with Eswarappa,Yeddyurappa described the event as “an old friend” coming and meeting him.
He ruled out his visit to Delhi and also kept under wraps his future course of action amid speculation that the BJP in the state was heading for a split.
However,Yeddyurappa has deputed his close confidante and Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje to meet the central leaders.
“I will take appropriate decision at an appropriate time”,Yeddyurappa told reporters when asked for his comments on his next moves.
He also defended his remarks praising Gandhi saying “Is there anything wrong in expecting party leaders’ support and party’s support.”
Yeddyurappa lashed out at party leaders for not coming to his rescue after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into his alleged role in illegal mining,party sources said.
Meanwhile,Yeddyurappa has convened a meeting of the MLAs and Ministers loyal to him on Monday at which a final decision on the future moves would be made,sources said.
Yeddyurappa,who has been pressing for a BJP legislature party meeting,is armed with the resignation letters of nine ministers and more than a dozen MLAs,which posed a threat to the Sadananda government.
In the 225-member Assembly,BJP has a strength of 120. Yeddyurappa claims to have the support of at least nine ministers and 45 MLAs.