Yeddyurappa loyalists meet; pitch for his reinstatement

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BS Yeddyurappa
Bangalore, Dec 28: Mounting pressure on the BJP central leadership, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa's loyalists, including five ministers, on Wednesday held a meeting here to press for his reinstatement.

The meeting at Yeddyurappa's residence was attended by ministers Shobha Karandlage, C M Uadasi, Umesh Katti, Murugesh Nirani and M P Renukacharya, party sources said. Forced to quit in July by the central leadership in the wake of his indictment in the Lokayukta report on alleged illegal mining, Yeddyurappa has been sending signals that he wants to be reinstated in the post.

Since the BJP leadership appeared to be in no hurry to meet his demand, he and his supporters have been lobbying for either his reinstatement as the chief minister or declare him as the 'sole leader' of the state unit.

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, chosen by Yeddyurappa himself to succeed him, had recently said he would continue in the top post till next assembly elections, due in two years.

"Yeddyurappa is the undisputed leader of the party and he was instrumental in propping up Gowda's name for the chief minister's post," Excise Minister M P Renukacharya told reporters here after the meeting. According to sources, Yeddyurappa, who led the BJP in forming its first ever government in the south, is expected to take a delegation of his loyalists to Delhi in the first week of January to press for his case.

Yeddyurappa had recently said everyone in the state knew he was the 'sole leader' for the state BJP and did not care about party state unit chief K S Eshwarappa's insistence on collective leadership. Gowda and Eshwarappa are currently camping in New Delhi to hold consultations with party central leaders, including L K Advani, on expansion the state cabinet.

Though Gowda's ministry has seven vacant slots, BJP sources say only four or five are expected to be filled during the next expansion, leaving two berths vacant as part of the strategy to meet any political exigencies.

PTI

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