In a show of strength,BJP strongman of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa today mobilised a sizeable number of legislators at a meeting convened by him apparently to exert pressure on the party central leadership to reinstate him as chief minister.
Yeddyurappa also roped in Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar and Home Minister R Ashoka who were in rival camp when he backed D V Sadananda Gowda to succeed him after being forced to quit as chief minister last August over his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
Yeddyurappa’s “demonstration” ahead of BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s arrival here tonight to preside over a two-day brainstorming session for the ruling party legislators beginning tomorrow is seen as an attempt to step up pressure on the party leadership to reinstate him as chief minister.
“We discussed the current political situation,on the coming Udupi-Chikamagalur Lok Sabha byelection and on strengthening the party organisation,” the party’s state unit president K S Eshwarappa told reporters here,adding the issue giving “position” to Yeddyurappa did not come up for discussion.
Party sources said a team of state BJP leaders would meet Gadkari and brief him on the happenings in the party and government.
It’s no secret that Yeddyurappa has fallen out with Sadananda Gowda,who was hand-picked by him for chief ministership,as the latter was seen in recent times of seeking to assert himself and coming out of Yeddyurappa’s shadow.
Excise Minister M P Renukacharya,a staunch Yeddyurappa loyalist,said the meeting would discuss the style of functioning of Gowda,”who is favourable to Congress and JDS leaders,rather than his party leaders.”
“We have documentary proof to prove this charge. We will present it to Gadkari”,he said.
Sources in the Yeddyurappa camp said that they would press for change of guard and seek Gowda’s resignation to make him honour the promise they claimed was made to their leader to quit after six months.
Yeddyurappa had hoped to return as Chief Minister in about six months,but his plans failed to fructify as the BJP high command did not show inclination to re-instate him.
Party sources said Gadkari will arrive here tonight,attend chintan manthan tomorrow and return to Delhi.