The fight for the Karnataka chief minister’s chair is now playing out in Delhi with both present and former chief ministers meeting the BJP top brass here,including president Nitin Gadkari.
After the meeting,former CM B S Yeddyurappa,who is trying everything possible for the top post,told the media: ”Gadkari has assured me I will be reinstated once cleared by the court.”
Yeddyurappa was forced to quit as chief minister after a Lokayukta report indicted him in illegal mining. The Karnataka High Court,however,gave him a clean chit later.
Ever since,Yeddyurappa has cajoled,threatened,locked up loyalists and given several deadlines to the party leadership to put back on the chair.
Under pressure from him,Delhi also summoned present Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda on Thursday. He met Gadkari and L K Advani and told the media he had been assured there would be no leadership change.
“I am specifically saying that central leaders told me there is no change of leadership or any other position in the party at present,” Gowda told reporters after meeting the BJP central leaders here.
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 whether he has had discussions with central leaders. 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 here 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 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.
he 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.