Karnataka BJP leaders to decide on power transfer Saturday


Bangalore : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha will meet his party’s Karnataka unit leaders here Saturday to evolve a strategy to mollify ruling coalition partner Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and ensure power transfer to the BJP on Oct 3.

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BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Friday in New Delhi that Sinha was visiting Bangalore “to deliberate with party leaders on the developing political situation in the state.”

A senior party leader in Bangalore told IANS: “We are confident that the row caused by our minister B. Sriramulu’s murder attempt charges against Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy can be resolved unless JD-S uses it a ruse to go back on its word on power transfer.”

Saturday’s meeting “will decide which direction to move – whether to convey our decision to JD-S leaders or to have a meeting with them on the issue,” he said.

Sinha will be arriving late Friday evening and will be apprised of the recent political developments, BJP spokesman Sureshkumar said here.

Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, state party president D.V. Sadananda Gowda and other senior leaders will meet Sinha Saturday to discuss the situation following the JD-S calling off talks on power transfer Thursday, he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP leaders in New Delhi indicated that the party was prepared to act against its two Karnataka leaders Bellary MP K. Janardhan Reddy and Tourism minister B. Sriramulu, if it appeased Kumaraswamy and his father and JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda.

“If it facilitates the situation all of this is fine. It is possible if there is some spirit of accommodation and both sides are coming to an agreement. Otherwise, what is the point of earning the ire of our own people?” said a senior BJP leader in the national capital Friday.

Kumaraswamy is to make way for Yediyurappa as chief minister on Oct 3 under an understanding the JD-S and the BJP reached in February 2006 to form the coalition government in the state.

On Thursday, Deve Gowda announced at a hurriedly called press meet that atmosphere was not conducive for power transfer following Sriramulu’s charge that the chief minister attempted to murder him.

“Sriramulu has apprised the state leaders of the recent developments in Bellary during campaigning for civic body polls and this will be conveyed to Sinha,” Sureshkumar said.

Asked whether the BJP will take action against Sriramulu for levelling such serious charges against the chief minister, he said: “All these (issues) will be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting.”

State BJP chief Sadananda Gowda told IANS from Mangalore that “till today we were all busy with civic body polls. We will meet tomorrow to discuss developments regarding power transfer.”

“What is the hurry? There is time till Oct 3,” he said when asked whether he and other state leaders will meet Deve Gowda Saturday or Sunday to pacify him.

Sriramulu Friday gave a new twist to the controversy by claiming that he did not charge Kumaraswamy with attempt to murder him. “I am only saying that atrocities were being committed on BJP leaders and workers in the name of the chief minister,” he told reporters in Bellary.

On Sep 25, Sriramulu told reporters that shots were fired at him the previous night when he was campaigning for the civic body polls.

“This was an attempt to murder me and the chief minister is behind this,” he said.

“The minister has no plans to lodge any more complaint with the police or take the issue to court,” an aide to Sriramulu said.

Sriramulu told reporters that he will resign from his post on Sep 30. “If I am not wanted as a minister, I will quit. The JD-S should not use me to deny power to the BJP. I am happy to be a mere legislator or a member of parliament. I do not want ministry,” he said.