BJP rebels firm on leadership change; CM hopes for solution

Written by: Pti
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Sadananda Gowda and Yeddyurappa
Bangalore, Jul 1: The turmoil in the BJP government showed no signs of abating as BS Yeddyurappa camp today stuck to its one-point agenda of removing Karnataka chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who appeared unfazed hoping for a solution.

The central leadership stepped in to resolve the crisis even as the state BJP ruled out accepting the resignation of the nine ministers and the Yeddyurappa faction stepped up attack on Gowda accusing him of being influenced by opposition JDS and not taking the state ministers into confidence.

Undeterred by the latest show of rebellion, Gowda met governor H R Bhardwaj and briefed him about the political situation. He said he was confident of resolving the crisis with the intervention of the party's central leadership.

State BJP president K S Eshwarappa, who met Gowda, said, "There is no question of accepting the resignations."

Eshwarappa said he was confident that Gowda and "friends" supporting Shettar would abide by any decision of the party's central leadership.

As the Yeddyurappa camp continued its posturing, party in-charge of Karnataka affairs Dharmendra Pradhan arrived here and held consultations with the leaders of the camp who are insisting on making Jagadish Shettar the chief minister.

"The chief minister is mostly running the administration on the diktat of JDS (of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda)...," C M Udasi, one of the nine Ministers who quit citing trust deficit between them and Gowda, told reporters.

"We are still in the process of consultations. There is no question of withdrawal of resignations. We hope Dharmendra Pradhan will find an acceptable solution," Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai, another staunch loyalist of Yeddyurappa, said.

The ministers, who resigned yesterday, explained to Pradhan the prevailing political situation and reasons that forced them to resign. "We hope an acceptable solution will emerge," Bommai said.

Hitting back at the dissident camp, Minister Anand Asnotikar, a Chief Minister's loyalist, threatened that some ministers would quit to strengthen the hands of Gowda.

"Sadananda Gowda should not be dislodged at any cost. If such a situation arises, it's better to go the elections," he said.

Asnotikar said he and his ministerial colleague Balachandra Jarkiholi would resign to send a message to the BJP central leaders against change of guard and accused the Yeddyurappa faction of adopting "pressure tactics".

BJP Lok Sabha member G M Siddesh, a known Yeddyurappa loyalist, claimed at least 14 MPs were ready to quit their membership if the demand for leadership change was not accepted. The MPs would meet in Bangalore tomorrow and take a decision on their resignation, he said in Davanagere.

Gowda was also engaged in consultations with his loyalists on their counter moves.


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