Pro-Yeddyurappa ministers up the ante
Bangalore: Stepping up pressure over their demand for change in the leadership in Karnataka, seven Ministers on Friday met former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and discussed the political situation amid reports that they planned to quit the Ministry.
The ministers met at the residence of Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar, whom Mr. Yeddyurappa has been propping up as successor to his loyalist-turned-rival D.V. Sadananda Gowda, and held parleys for an hour, party sources said.
They later met Mr. Yeddyurappa, who has been sulking after being forced to quit last year in the wake of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicting him and asked by the party to come clean in the corruption cases for his reinstatement.
The sources said eight ministers loyal to the dissident leader have been contemplating to resign from the ministry, seen as a pressure tactic to force the party central leadership to meet their demand.
The rebels’ move comes a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership sought to buy more time to resolve the Karnataka crisis and asked Mr. Gowda to cancel his proposed visit to Delhi. Mr. Gowda had planned to meet the top leaders amid persisting speculation over change of leadership.
Sources said the dissidents were in no mood to accept the high command decision of “wait for some more time”.
The ministers who took part in the meeting at Mr. Shettar’s residence include C.M. Udasi, Basavaraj Bommai, M.P. Renukacharya, Umesh Katti and Murugesh Nirani.
A senior minister in the rebel camp said the party leadership should announce its decision on whether it was ready for the leadership change or not.
Meanwhile, B.P. Harish, MLA, said he was dismayed at the happenings in the party, adding he was thinking about resigning his Assembly membership.
Mr. Harish claimed that several legislators were in favour of resigning their Assembly membership.
BJP central leadership on Thursday advised Mr. Gowda and his followers not to visit Delhi on the Karnataka crisis and also cancelled the visit by party general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan.