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K'taka crisis has put all of us to shame, says Swaraj

November 18, 2009 18:27 IST
Admitting that the recent crisis in Karnataka following dissident activities has put the Bharatiya Janata Party 'to shame,' the party on Wednesday appeared to blame Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa for the turmoil, saying he needs to communicate better.

"The crisis is not only unfortunate, it has put all of us to shame also," senior party leader Sushma Swaraj told mediapersons in Bengaluru after meetings of the newly constituted coordination committee and the legislature party.

"But it (the crisis) has been resolved fully. It has withered away as a bad dream," said Swaraj, who along with party senior leaders Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar, attended the meetings.

Swaraj, who was one of the leaders involved in crisis defusing exercise, said all through there was a feeling that the party has emerged stronger after the crisis. "We have learnt many lessons. The main lesson is...that most of the problems....the root cause of most of the problems is lack of dialogue. Chief Minister has to be more and more communicative," she said.

"And more and more dialogue is to be established with the party, with the organisation and with the Chief Minister," Swaraj said, adding, such a thing (the recent crisis) would never be repeated.

"The Chief Minister assured on this count and then all the other leaders assured of their support," she said.

Swaraj said it was decided that the coordination committee should compulsorily meet once a month. "All the major issues should be settled in this committee." She expressed 'regret' to the people of Karnataka for the two-week-long crisis, triggered by the demand for change in Yeddyurappa's leadership in the campaign led by state tourism minister Janardhana Reddy and his brother revenue minister Karunakara Reddy, both mine owners from Bellary district.

"But since the crisis has been resolved, we will compensate for lack of work during those two weeks by doing more working overtime," Swaraj said.

The legislature party meeting was the first after the central leadership worked out a compromise formula between the Chief Minister and the rebels. Swaraj said the meeting proceeded in a 'very cordial and conducive atmosphere.'

Besides the Chief Minister and party's state unit president D V Sadananda Gowda, ministers Jagadish Shettar, K S Eshwarappa, Karunakara Reddy, S Suresh Kumar, R Ashoka and Govind Karjol also attended the meeting.

"And all spoke in a very, very positive tone. Chief Minister reciprocated and he (Yeddyurappa) said all apprehensions must be dispelled from this very meeting," Swaraj said.

She said Jaitley, herself, Ananth Kumar, Venkaiah Naidu were 'very, very happy' to see the 'scene' of the meeting.

Implementing the compromise formula, Yeddyurappa had shifted several top officials, made his confidante Shobha Karandlaje to resign as minister and inducted Jagadish Shettar, who was the rallying point for dissidents, as minister.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Bellary ministers, who spearheaded the rebellion, said the dissidents are not happy with the composition of the coordination panel. When the compromise deal was struck in Delhi, it was given to understand that Swaraj, who is considered close to the Reddy brothers, would head the panel.

The committee is now chaired by Sadananda Gowda. The dissidents were expecting an eight-member panel but it's a 14-member one now. The dissidents are also pushing for dropping of state water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai from the committee.

Ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa dismissed suggestions that the constitution of the panel amounts to putting a leash on the Chief Minister. Asked how the 'miracle' happened overnight (that the crisis was resolved), Swaraj said, "Miracle did not happen overnight. It took 15 days."

On what advice the party gave to the dissidents as it counseled to Yeddyurappa to communicate better, she said, "Every thing has been settled in Delhi (when warring sides were called for compromise)."

The advice (to the dissidents) was adhered to... paid heed to, she said. Swaraj expressed hope and belief that BJP would 'emerge stronger' in the coming elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, gram panchayats and 25 seats in the Legislative Council.

Emerging from the Coordination Committee meeting, D V Sadananda Gowda denied that there were differences over the composition of the panel.

He ruled out reconstitution of the committee and expanding the 14-member team. Sources said the Reddy brothers and their associate state health minister B Sreeramulu met Swaraj and expressed their displeasure over the committee's composition.

Yeddyurappa also had separate consultations with Swaraj, Naidu and Jaitley. The leaders deputed by BJP central leadership ensured that the legislature party meet passed off trouble-free.

Ministers who addressed the meeting called for working together. "Other than eight members of the legislature, none came forward to speak," Swaraj said when asked whether others were not allowed to express their views over the crisis that gripped the government.

Image: Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj

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