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Karnataka BJP crisis heads for flashpoint

Sunday March 11, 2012 05:43:24 PM, IANS

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The Norm of the Patriarch

Hubli (Karnataka): The leadership battle in Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is heading towards boiling point with former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa stating only time will tell whether he stays in the party.

"Only time will tell. I cannot speak about the future," he told reporters Sunday in this town, about 400 km north of Bangalore, when asked whether he will be in the party at the time of assembly polls due April-May next year.

Yeddyurappa, forced to quit July last year over corruption charges but seeking re-instatement, also announced that he will not campaign for the party candidate in the March 18 bypoll to Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha seat.

He virtually blamed his successor D. V. Sadananda Gowda for the decision.

The Udupi-Chikmagalur seat was held by Gowda who resigned after taking over from Yeddyurappa Aug 4.

"Gowda says that I am facing eight more corruption cases. Hence if I go for campaigning it may embarrass him," Yeddyurappa commented sarcastically.

The former chief minister was in Hubli to address a public meeting organized by his supporters to as a show of strength in the name of celebrating his 70th birthday, which was Feb 27.

Yeddyurappa and his supporters have been relentlessly mounting pressure on party central leaders to reinstate him and their demand has become strident after the high court March 7 quashed the mining bribery case against him.

He had challenged in the high court the July 27 report of the then Lokayukta (ombudsman) N. Santosh Hegde recommending his trial on the ground that his kin had taken Rs.30 crore from a mining company.

A reluctant Yeddyurappa was forced by party central leaders to quit July 31. Since then he has been claiming that the party leaders had promised to re-instate him within six months or earlier if he was cleared of charges leveled in the Lokayukta report.

The former chief minister ruled out accepting the post of the state BJP president.

Though the high court has set aside the mining bribery case, Yeddyurappa is fighting several other cases of corruption and illegal land deals.

He is also faces possible probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into bribery charges over granting mining licenses. The Supreme Court is to decide on this on a petition by an NGO seeking CBI probe into its charges.




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