Finally, the shadowboxing ended and the numbers game started! The crisis in the BJP government deepened on Thursday with the competing factions —- one led by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and the other by the Reddy triumvirate —- deciding to go for each others jugular by displaying their numerical strength.
While the Reddy brothers announced that they enjoy the support of over 40 MLAs, Yeddyurappa’s camp has claimed that they too have equal fire-power to retain the chief minister’s chair. The changing arithmetic has increased scope for horse-trading: The first signals came when MLAs were herded to resorts in Hyderabad, Goa and outskirts of Bangalore by the Reddy brothers to prevent poaching by the Yeddyurappa camp. Political grapevine had it that both the groups were offering cash incentives to prevent defections and to keep their flock together till the BJP High Command takes the final decision on the CM’s chair.
JAITLEY’S EFFORTS FAIL
Meanwhile, the war of words between the Yeddyurappa camp and Reddy brothers continued: While Yeddyurappa said he will not tolerate any dirty talk against him, Revenue Minister Karunakar Reddy went a step ahead and likened him to demon-king Kamsa in Lord Krishna’s tale. The showdown between the Reddy brothers and Yeddyurappa only threatened to change the BJP’s catchphrase of ‘party with discipline’ to that of indiscipline.
Efforts by BJP national leader Arun Jaitley, who is considered the master-strategist and trouble-shooter, to bring about a truce also failed. The Reddy-brothers declared that they will settle for nothing less than replacement of Yeddyurappa. Subsequently, Jaitley summoned Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar, who was camping in Madhya Pradesh, to come back to Bangalore and help in the fire-fighting exercise. In the evening, Jaitley held parleys with Karunakar Reddy, but the talks failed.
Earlier in the day, both camps made efforts to mobilise support from MLAs, but that was marked by high drama. Yeddyurappa, around whom all the legislators rallied till three days ago, had a bitter experience when not a man turned up at his residence for a meeting that he had convened. The meeting was cancelled and no reasons were attributed for it. Sources said: “A decision to cancel the meeting was taken after there were enough hints about legislators not turning up in large numbers. Moreover, the meeting would only expose the numerical strength of Yeddyurappa faction.”
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s camp, which was confident of sailing through the crisis till Thursday morning, mellowed down by evening and offered an olive branch to the cash-rich Reddys. Transport Minister R Ashok and Excise Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu along with MLAs C T Ravi and Ashwathnarayana held discussions with Karunakar Reddy and persuaded him to come to the negotiation table. However, Reddy reportedly said that they will not remain in the government if Yeddyurappa were to continue as the CM.
With the rift only widening, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh intervened by holding discussions with Karunakar Reddy. The RSS concern was that the internal bickering was tarnishing the image of the party, which had come to power for the first-time in south India. Karunakar Reddy held discussions with RSS leaders Jayadev and Mangesh for nearly an hour at the latter’s headquarters in Chamarajpet. Karunakar Reddy reportedly told the RSS that they were not trying to divide the party or bring down the government, but only asking for a leadership the majority of party MLAs wanted.
Courtesy: Bangalore Mirror.com
BJP Government in trouble. Yeddyurappa seeks action against rebels.
Bangalore, October 30, 2009: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is in deep trouble No signs of ending crisis with dissident MLAs shifting camp to Hyderabad under the leadership of Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy.
BJP central observer Arun Jaitley is camping in Bangalore to defuse the crisis. Yeddyurappa hits back demanding action against Reddy brothers for openly attacking him.
However the dissidents led by three ministers-- Janardhan Reddy, Karunakar Reddy and B Sreenivasulu along with 15 other rebel MLAs arrived in Hyderabad staying away from the patch up scene. Sources close to Reddys claimed twenry five more MLAs would join them.
Yeddyurappa had transfered some senior officials in Bellary, the home of Reddy brothers, who have been attacking the chief minister on flood relief work, put up a brave face yesterday.
Yeddyurappa has asked the party’s central leadership to take action against Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy, both brothers, and Health Minister B Sreeramulu.
Yeddyurappa briefed RSS leaders on the happenings at a meeting held at his private residence yesterday morning. Several Ministers and MLAs thronged Yeddyurappa’s official residence in Bangalore and expressed support to him.
Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar is being projected as the chief ministerial candidate by the rebels since yesterday.