BJP likely to decide Yeddyurappa’s fate Thursday


New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa Wednesday explained his position to the party leadership in the wake of his indictment in the report on illegal mining submitted by Karnataka Lokayukta and a decision on his continuation is expected to be taken Thursday, party sources said.

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Yeddyurappa, who reached New Delhi Wednesday evening went to the residence of party president Nitin Gadkari to attend the meeting, convened in the wake of report by Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde which levelled charges against him.

The meeting, which lasted over three hours, was attended by senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, who is BJP party in-charge of Karnataka and former president Rajnath Singh.

Yeddyurappa was accompanied by some of his senior ministers at the meeting.

Party sources said that a meeting of the parliamentary board is likely to take place Thursday to take a call on continuance of Karnataka chief minister.

Several senior party leaders are of the firm belief that Yeddyurappa should resign in the wake of his indictment to save the party any embarrassment in its campaign on the issue of corruption against the UPA government.

However, the chief minister, who was defiant when he reached Delhi, sought to put up a strong defence about the charges levelled against him in the report, sources said.

They said that chief minister told the party leadership that there was nothing new in the report and much of what has been stated in the report is already pending as cases in various courts.

Yeddyurappa also believed to have told the party leadership that he had referred the whole issue of illegal-mining to Lokayukta. Some of Yeddyurappa’s aides have also termed the report as politically motivated.

Earlier, on this arrival in the capital, Yeddyurappa said that there was no need for him to resign. “Why should I. Question of resigning does not arise”, Yeddyurappa told reporters at the airport.

He said he would convene a meeting of his cabinet at 3.00 p.m. Thursday to go into the details of the Lokayukta report and give its reaction.

Yeddyurappa said he will “explain all the things in the report” to the party leadership. “MLAs are with us… I am going to discuss all these things.”

Party sources said that the leadership will not like to delay a decision on Yeddyurappa’s continuance due to Monsoon Session of the parliament beginning Aug 1.

A section of the party is also vary of the possible action by Karnataka Governor H.R.Bhardwaj in the wake of the submission of the report.

Hegde’s report found that the chief minister’s family, including son B.Y. Raghvendra, a Lok Sabha member of BJP from Shimoga, 270 km from Bangalore, benefiting from the mining scam.

A voluminous report submitted by him found that the exchequer lost a whopping Rs.16,085 crore (Rs.161 billion) due to illegal mining and export of iron ore from 2006 to 2010 in royalty, excise duty, value added tax and other levies.

The names doing the rounds in party circles as possible successors to Yeddyurappa include party general secretary Ananth Kumar and state ministers Jagdish Shettar, Suresh Kumar, V.S. Acharya and state party president K S Eshwarappa.