New Delhi, Bangalore, Nov 23: Under pressure to resign over land scam allegations, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is due to meet BJP chief Nitin Gadkari in Delhi.
Although he has ordered a judicial inquiry into the allegations, Karnataka’s Lokayukta, who once resigned citing indifference of the Yeddyurappa government, has hinted that the Lokayukta was being deliberately kept out of the probe.
Speaking on NDTV programme, The Buck Stops Here, Justice Santosh Hegde wondered why there was an attempt to take away a pending inquiry under him over the land scam allegations involving the chief minister’s family.
The allegations against Yeddyurappa seem certain to cost him his job but the Karnataka Chief Minister has so far struck a defiant note.
However, today could prove to be D-Day for him as he meets Nitin Gadkari and the big question is will the BJP president manage to break his defiance and convince him to step down?
Last night Yeddyurappa met senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley and after the meeting he claimed no one has asked him to resign and that he was still the Chief Minister but on Tuesday morning, ahead of his meeting with Gadkari he said he will obey whatever decision the party leaders take.
Meanwhile, the top BJP leaders have met Karnataka MLAs to try and build consensus on a replacement for the top job.
BJP’s Yeddyurappa dilemma
Sources tell NDTV that Yeddyurappa’s defiance is being seen as posing a huge threat to the political authority of the BJP leadership.
The party wants Yeddyurappa to go, to strengthen its anti-corruption campaign against the UPA but the Chief Minister and his loyalists are mounting pressure on the party leaders saying they got the people’s mandate in Karnataka and that the Lingayats, Yeddyurappa’s community, will protest and dump the BJP in Karnataka if he’s asked to go.
* The Karnataka government with a slim majority will then become unstable and even fall.
* The BJP’s worries, what will be the impact ahead of the panchayat elections if the Chief Minister is changed and the government falls?
* Will a succession war begin and further hurt the party’s image?
Who can replace Yeddyurappa?
Suresh Kumar: He is the Law Minister and the front-runner for the post
Positive: Absolutely clean image
Negative: Too low profile
Jagdish Shettar: Currently, the Rural Development Minister
Positive: Belongs to Lingayat community like Yeddyurappa
Negative: Low profile
Ananth Kumar: MP from South Bangalore
Positive: Known at national level
Negative: Yeddyurappa baiter, doesn’t have state-wide base
K S Eshwarappa: State BJP president
Positive: Senior leader and state chief
Negative: Allegations of irregular land deals