New Delhi, Nov 19 : BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Saturday held a meeting with B S Yeddyurappa and Karnataka Core Committee members on charges of corruption and nepotism against the Chief Minister but deferred a decision on his fate till the matter is discussed with the Central leadership.
"The party president had requested the chief minister and senior leaders (of Karnataka) to come to Delhi for consultations with them which have been completed today. We will be discussing what we discussed with them with senior leaders in Delhi," senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting.
Party sources said the matter may be discussed with the Central Core Group to take final call on whether Yeddyurappa should be replaced or allowed to continue in office. Senior leader L K Advani was away in Mumbai due to a family bereavement and would return tomorrow. His opinion on the issue would weigh heavily on the final outcome.
The four-hour long late night meeting held today at Gadkari’s residence was attending by senior leader Ananth Kumar and BJP Karnataka Core Committee leaders.
Gadkari returned from Lucknow to meet the Karnataka leaders, the state unit President K S Eshwarappa, his predecessor D V Sadanand Gowda, minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Jagdish Shettar who have been camping in Delhi to meet the Central leadership.Though speculation is rife that Yeddyurappa’s luck has run out, some senior leaders as well as the RSS want that he be given another life.
Yeddyurappa himself appeared defiant before the meeting and asserted that he would not step down."Who are they to force me to resign?" Yeddyurappa said. He claimed the opposition parties were "disappointed" with him because "the development work is going on like anything." "So, they are afraid that in another 10 to 15 years they would be the opposition party only...that’s why they are creating problem," he said.
While one faction in the party is keen on replacing Yeddyurappa, the Central leadership wants to weigh all pros and cons before arriving at any decision.
Party sources said Yeddyurappa explained his position and refuted all charges of nepotism in today’s meeting. His stand was that since he had surrendered the land allegedly alloted to his sons out-of-turn and also ordered a judicial inquiry, he should be allowed to stay.Some BJP Central leaders feel removing Yeddyurappa would not solve the crisis in the state as factionalism would still continue.
However, the faction led by Ananth Kumar wants Yeddyurappa to be replaced. The argument against the Chief Minister is that charges of corruption and favouritism against him are taking the sting out of the BJP attack on UPA government in the 2-G Spectrum, Adarsh Housing Society and Commonwealth Games scams.PTI