Rajnath, Jaitley meet Yeddyurappa, without success


Bangalore : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley Friday met Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to persuade him to quit as directed by the party but he seemed to be holding out.

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As the two leaders talked to Yeddyurappa at his residence on Race Course Road near the state secretariat, scores of his supporters outside shouted slogans: “Yeddyurappa beke beku (Yeddyurappa should continue), Yeddyurappaji ki jai” – a scene usually not associated with the BJP.

A number of ministers, legislators and parliament members were also present at the residence and had separate meeting with Rajnath Singh and Jaitley.

Yeddyurappa’s supporters claimed that he has the backing of 75 of the 121 assembly members, including the speaker. The assembly has 225 members, including one nominated member.

The two central BJP leaders left the chief minister’s residence after over half an hour meeting, but declined to talk to the media persons assembled outside.

Yeddyurappa saw them off, coming out in public for the first time since Thursday morning when the BJP parliamentary board met in New Delhi and told him to quit immediately after state Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde sought his trial for graft in the massive illegal mining scam.

Soon after scores of ministers and legislators also came out of the cheif minister’s house, flashing ‘V’ sign. Excise Minister M. P. Renukacharya and Yelahanka (north Bangalore) legislator S.R. Vishwanath told reporters that they told the two central leaders that Yeddyurappa should remain chief minister.

“The two leaders said they are here for two more days and will hear the views of each legislator before taking a decision,” Vishwanath said.

Asked what the two central leaders told Yeddyurappa, he evaded a direct answer: “We do not know the details.”

Rajnath Singh and Jaitley would brief party president Nitin Gadkari on their talks with Yeddyurappa to decide the next steps.