Power transfer and CMship to Yediyurappa non-negotiable: BJP

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) Hardening its stand, the BJP today asserted that the transfer of power to the party and Chief Ministership to Mr B S Yediyurappa in Karnataka were 'non-negotiable' while deciding that its Parliamentary Board will meet again on October 6 to discuss the issue.

Briefing mediapersons after an hour-long meeting of the BJP's Parliamentary Board which reviewed the issue of transfer of power in Karnataka, party Vice President Yashwant Sinha, who is in-charge of Karnataka affairs said the BJP would convey this to Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda when he would meet BJP president Rajnath Singh next.

The BJP had decided to convene its meeting on October six following a telephone call from Mr Gowda intimating him that the party would take a decision on the issue at its Political Affairs Committee meeting tomorrow.

Depending upon the response from Mr Gowda, the BJP's Parliamentary Board will meet on October six, Mr Sinha said and it was entirely up to the JD(S). ''The BJP is a decent and cultured party but that doesn't mean we are not firm. The deal has been arrived by the two parties with an angreement with a great deal of circumspection and dignity and it has to be honoured with dignity,'' Mr Sinha added.

He said when Mr Gowda wants to talk to BJP leadership, the political conduct demands that he be given an opportunity. Asked if there were any fresh terms and conditions from the BJP, Mr Sinha said the issue of transfer of power to the BJP and the Chief Ministership to Mr Yediyurappa were 'non-negotiable'. ''We are going to tell this to Mr Gowda when we meet him next.'' Mr Sinha also declined to comment on the statements made by JD(S) leaders this morning at Bangalore.

Asked about the claims of a Karnataka BJP leader that the party was getting support from 'breakaway legislators', Mr Sinha said the BJP would not engineer any break-up but would welcome the groups that were willing to extend support to the BJP. ''We have kept all our options open,'' he remarked.

Under the agreement reached between the two parties, the power transfer should have taken place by tonight upon completion of 20 months of Chief Ministership of Janata Dal (Secular).

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani and senior party leaders Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and M Venkaiah Naidu were among hose who took part in the party's Parliamentary Board meeting, the highest decision-making body of the party. BJP Legislature Party leader B S Yediyurappa and state BJP president Sadananda Gowda and BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar were among those who apprised Karnataka unit's view points to the Parliamentary Board.

UNI

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