Karnataka BJP MPs back Yeddyurappa

NEW DELHI: BJP MPs from Karnataka loyal to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today demanded a discussion during the Parliamentary Party meeting on the issue of his continuance in office while pledging support to him.

Party sources said that when the weekly Parliamentary Party meeting was on, the BJP MPs from Karnataka belonging to Yeddyurappa’s camp demanded that the on-going crisis in the state be discussed.

BJP Parliamentary Party chief L K Advani told these MPs that they can come to his office in Parliament after the meeting and discuss their grievances.

Thiteen Lok Sabha and four Rajya BJP MPs from the state yesterday had joined Yeddyurappa during a media interaction yesterday.

Though the Chief Minister has been stating that he will go by whatever decision the party high command takes, he has also indulged in subtle acts of defiance by saying that he has not been asked to step down and that he has the support of "110-120 MLAs" in the state.

After today’s Parliamentary party meeting, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters that the central leadership is seized of the matter and was holding discussions with state leaders.

"The party is discussing the matter and an appropriate decision will be taken at an appropriate time," he said.

Yeddyurappa met Naidu at the latter’s residence this morning. Naidu had earlier stated that Yeddyurappa will abide by the decision of the central leadership.

The BJP chief minister is likely to meet party president Nitin Gadkari to discuss the "political situation" in the state. He may also call on other BJP leaders.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who has been asked by Gadkari to hold talks with Yeddyurappa and other Karnataka leaders, is said to be "closely studying" the situation on the ground and exploring all possibilities, a senior leader said.

Jaitley is also reportedly looking at all the alleged discrepancies in land allotments done by Yeddyurappa to his sons and other charges against him.

Party sources said the Panchayat elections may be announced in a day or two and removing Yeddyurappa at this juncture may affect the party’s performance.

Central leaders indicated that Yeddyurappa should quit as his continuance is taking the sting out of BJP attack on the government in Parliament on corruption in 2-G Spectrum, Commonwealth Games and Adarsh Housing Society scams.

However, the BJP central leaders are also worried about further rebellion in case of Yeddyurappa’s removal. The first BJP government in Karnataka has a wafer-thin majority of 106 in an Assembly with an effective strength of 208.(PTI)

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