M A I N   N E W S

Yeddyurappa finally walks his talk
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, July 31
Ending days of suspense, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa finally stepped down today, but not before putting up an impressive show of strength that enabled him to quit on a very high note.

The BJP’s two central observers - Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley - who landed in Bangalore two days back to oversee a smooth transition of leadership in Karnataka could only achieve half of their job with Yeddyurappa’s resignation. The second part of their assignment - to pave the way for the election of new leader of the party’s legislative wing - has remained unrealised.

Despite marathon confabulations held by Jaitley and Rajnath Singh with various BJP factions, the issue of the new Chief Minister remains unresolved. At around 10.15 pm, Dharmendra Pradhan, incharge of the party in Karnataka, told waiting mediapersons that the new Chief Minister would be chosen in a meeting of BJP legislators in Bangalore on August 3. He said Jaitley and Rajnath Singh had left for Delhi where they would apprise the party’s central leaders about the developments in Bangalore.

Amid high drama and tense moments, Yeddyurappa today resigned after keeping everybody guessing as he delayed his appointment with state governor HR Bhardwaj by over an hour. The 68-year-old Chief Minister submitted his one-line resignation letter to Bhardwaj three days after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) parliamentary board directed him to quit in the light of his indictment in the multi-crore mining scam by state Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde (retd).

Though Yeddyurappa was to meet Bhardwaj between 2.30 pm and 3 pm, he reached Raj Bhawan at around 4 pm, walking from his official residence on the Race Course Road, about a km away, with hundreds of supporters including his loyal ministers and party legislators.

“I am going to the Raj Bhawan on foot to submit my resignation just as I launched the party’s election campaign in April 2008 when I toured across the state on foot,” Yeddyurappa told reporters as he walked towards Raj Bhawan.

What was particularly noteworthy in the procession led by the CM to the Raj Bhawan was the presence of Janardhan Reddy in it. The Reddy brothers — Janardhan and Karunakara — mining barons and ministers in the Yeddyurappa-led government are known detractors of Yeddyurappa and refrained from visiting Yeddyurappa’s residence when other MLAs had gathered there as a show of solidarity with the beleaguered CM. Today, Janardhan Reddy - considered the leader of the “Reddy faction” of the state BJP - also turned up beside Yeddyurappa. Dhananjay Kumar, former BJP MP from Mangalore who is close to Yeddyurappa, told the Tribune that 78 out of the 121 BJP MLAs of Karnataka accompanied the outgoing CM’s march.

The Governor accepted the resignation of the Council of Ministers (CoM) headed by Yeddyurappa and asked him to continue as the CM till his successor is sworn in.

After submitting his resignation, Yeddyurappa told mediapersons that he had proposed the name of Udupi MP Sadananda Gowda for the post of CM.

If majority of the MLAs are with Yeddyurappa, as it does appear, Gowda should easily become the CM with the help of the support of these MLAs. But this is easier said than done.

Yeddyurappa detractors like Ananth Kumar, BJP general secretary and Bangalore (South) MP, and KS Eshwarappa, state BJP chief, are naturally opposed to Gowda’s candidature.

Yeddyurappa is also demanding the post of party president in Karnataka for himself.

reign ends

  • Yeddyurappa wants Sadananda Gowda to be his successor
  • New CM to be chosen in a meeting of BJP legislators in Bangalore on August 3





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