Yeddyurappa case hits dead-end; BJP to drop 'excess baggage'

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BS Yeddyurappa
Bangalore, Jul 26: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has been embroiled in the illegal mining row, had to face further set back after finding his name mentioned in the Lokayukta report that was leaked. The CM is busy counting his friends and foes ahead of the official Lokayukta report scheduled to be tabled on Wednesday by Santosh Hegde.

Yeddyurappa has stated categorically that he would quit if the Lokayukta report names him as playing a part in the illegal mining scam. With the BJP also keen to drop BSY in order to portray a clean image in the Centre, it is only a matter of time for Yeddyurappa's ouster.

With Yeddyurappa's popularity taking a beating both in the Centre and the State, options seem limited for the tainted CM. With Yeddyurappa hoping for the dissolution of the state assembly and for mid-term polls, a fact that the BJP is not keen to back at this point of time, the party is already looking for Plan B.

There are also succession talks hotting up if Yeddyurappa will have to face the axe in lieu of the scam. According to sources, the top post might go to Lingayat leader, Jagdish Shettar who is emerging as the front runner for the job. Other names doing the rounds are those of state minister Suresh Kumar and Karnataka Higher Education Minister VS Acharya.

With Yeddyurappa hoping to put some person close to him in the top job, the BJP wants to sweep aside Yeddyurappa to the sidelines so that he does not become a barrier in the anti-corruption crusade that the BJP wants to kick start in the Parliament's monsoon session. A source has been quoted as saying, "The impression we get here is that Mr Yeddyurappa's support has virtually disappeared in New Delhi. For the first time in three years, there is no central leader who can defend him in New Delhi."

The source added, "The worrying factor is not just the charges of corruption leveled by opposition parties and how he lurches from one controversy to another. The central leaders are worried about the party not expanding its base to other parts of south India. We have lost Rajasthan. As a political party, the central leaders might think of retaining the state using the popularity of Mr Yeddyurappa and the Lingayat vote bank. If they give more weight to this factor, they will retain him for six months or so and go for elections after that."

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