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Rediff.com  » News » Karnataka BJP crisis deteriorates

Karnataka BJP crisis deteriorates

Last updated on: November 01, 2009 21:13 IST
The situation in the Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party deteriorated on Sunday with no positive result emerging out of the meeting the Reddy faction -- spearheaded by state tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy and revenue minister G Karunakara Reddy -- held with the party high command.

With the Reddy faction refusing to compromise for anything less than a change in the state leadership, the party high command has now decided to tell Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to pre-pone his visit to New Delhi.

The CM was initially supposed to go to New Delhi on November 4 but he may meet with the high command later on Monday. The CM would have left for Delhi on Sunday, but there is a major programme that he is scheduled to attend on Monday. The inauguration of the housing scheme for the flood victims will take place on Monday at Bagalkot in North Karnataka.

Earlier during the day, Karnataka Speaker Jagadish Shettar met with the high command and placed before it the demands of the Reddy faction. He said that he is not in New Delhi on a personal mission, but was only conveying the message of the disgruntled Members of Karnataka Legislative Assembly.

He also made it clear that he was not aspiring for the post of CM and was more interested in sorting out this problem. He said that several MLAs were upset with the manner in which the CM was functioning.

The Yeddyurappa faction too met with the central leadership at New Delhi on Sunday. Dr V S Acharya, the home minister of Karnataka, who lead the delegation, told rediff.com that they have been assured that there would be no change in leadership.

He said that several rounds of talks had been held, and the high command was convinced that there could be no change in the leadership. He, however, refused to comment on whether they had agreed to change a host of ministers in the cabinet in order to appease the Reddy faction.

Both the factions held talks with senior leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and also Arun Jaitley. Several rounds of meetings with the same leaders are scheduled to be held on Monday.

BJP sources say that once Yeddyurappa lands in New Delhi, a meeting of the warring factions with the party high command would be held under one roof. B Janardhan Reddy is also expected to meet with the high command along with the rest of the leaders on Monday.

Sadanand Gowda, the state president of the BJP, said that the crisis would be over by Monday evening. "There are certain problems, but it can be sorted out. Some meetings are scheduled for Monday, following which the issue will be resolved," he said.

Hectic horse trading

Meanwhile, both the factions are protecting their MLAs in order to show the high command that they have the numbers. The Reddy faction, which has claimed the support of 62 MLAs, have moved most of them out of Karnataka.

The Reddy brothers have divided their MLAs into three groups. While one group has been holed up in Hyderabad, the other two are in Goa and Bengaluru respectively. The Yeddyurappa faction has parked their MLAs in a resort in the outskirts of the state capital.

The Yeddyurappa faction, which had claimed that it had the support of 80 MLAs until Sunday night, appears to have lost several of them to the Reddy faction. There are allegations of extensive horse-trading that is going on.

The Reddy faction wants to ensure that it has the numbers to show its strength before the BJP high command in order to effect a leadership change.

Sources say that the Reddy faction wants to leave the high command with no choice but to effect a leadership change due to the numbers they have with them.

A source in the Reddy camp said that they have a majority of the MLAs on their side and the high command cannot ignore their demand to change the leadership.

Insiders, however, suggest that the Reddy faction may at the end opt to drop the demand for a change in leadership, provided Yeddyurappa drops his coterie from the cabinet.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru