Yeddyurappa likely to meet Gadkari Monday

Sunday, November 21, 2010

BANGALORE/NEW DELHI - Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is likely to meet Bharatiaya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari in the national capital Monday to plead against his removal over allegations of favouring his kin in the allotment of prime land.

Gadkari has been authorized by the party’s senior leaders to take the final decision on whether to allow Yeddyurappa to remain in office or ask him to quit in view of various charges against him and his two sons. One of them, B.Y. Raghavenda, is a BJP Lok Sabha member.

Ahead of his planned Monday visit to New Delhi, the second in four days, Yeddyurappa remained firm on not quitting.

Insisting that he has the support of around 120 law makers in the 225-member assembly, the chief minister told reporters in Bangalore that “the only successor to Yeddyurappa is Yeddyurappa”.

His assertion came after a meeting with ministers and legislators supporting him.

“Since the party leadership is with me, we decided it was not necessary for ministers and legislators to go to Delhi with me,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Yeddyurappa also dropped plans to take several ministers and legislators to New Delhi in a bid to prevent his possible removal over the scam.

In New Delhi, Gadkari met senior party leaders including L.K. Advani to discuss ways to solve the Karnataka crisis.

He told reporters that senior leaders had “authorised me to take a decision on Karnataka”. “I will talk to Yeddyurappa again before taking a decision,” he said.

BJP leaders met in New Delhi at Gadkari’s house to take a decision on ending the row. Party sources said the meeting was attended by senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi.

BJP sources said a decision on Yeddyruppa’s continuation may be taken before the parliament sitting Monday.

The BJP seems to be keen to end the Karnataka crisis early as it has come in handy for the Congress to hit back at the party, which has stalled parliament demanding a joint parliamentary probe into alleged corruption in allotment of airwaves - the 2G spectrum.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Medical Education Minister A. Ramdas and Shimoga Lok Sabha member Ayanur Manjunath, who were among those at the meeting with Yeddyurappa in Bangalore, asserted that he will remain the chief minister.

“The issue of leadership does not arise at all and this was not discussed,” they said.

Yeddyurappa briefed BJP central leaders Friday about the charges that he had favoured kin with prime lands and freed lands from government control to benefit people who had invested in business ventures of his two sons.

Gadkari and senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and M. Venkaiah Naidu were present at the meeting late Friday that lasted more than three hours.

From Karnataka besides Yeddyurappa, state unit chief K.S. Eshwarappa, Panchayat Raj minister Jagdish Shettar, a potential candidate for chief minister’s post, and Lok Sabha members H.N. Ananth Kumar and D.V. Sadananda Gowda attended.

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