Bangalore: On a day
of high drama and swift developments, the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) high command Friday told scam-hit Karnataka Chief Minister
B.S. Yeddyurappa to resign forthwith or face expulsion from the
"BJP observers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh served an ultimatum
to Yeddyurappa to resign unconditionally or face expulsion from
the party," a party source told IANS late Friday.
Jaitley and Singh, deputed by the BJP high command as observers to
elect a new legislature party leader, met a defiant Yeddyurappa
and tried to persuade him to abide by the party's parliamentary
board decision Thursday that he should resign following his
indictment by the state Lokayukta (ombudsman) in the multi-crore
mining scam in the state.
Though the 68-year-old Yeddyurappa agreed to resign July 31, his
insistence to have a say in the choice of the new leader, in the
formation of the new ministry and his own appointment as the
party's state unit president did not find favour with the high
"The observers conveyed a stern message from party president Nitin
Gadkari to Yeddyurappa through his close aides - Energy Minister
Shobha Karandlaje and Irrigation Minister Basavaraj Bommai - that
he should first submit his resignation to the governor (H.R.
Bhardwaj) and then he can place his demands at the party's
legislature meeting," the source said.
Jaitley and Singh also told Yeddyurappa and his vocal supporters
that their brief was only to preside over the legislature party
meeting as observers and facilitate election of a new leader after
the chief minister resigns.
"If Yeddyurappa claims that he has majority support of
legislators, MPs and others, then he can easily prevail upon them
to elect the new leader of his choice, have whatever say in the
formation of the new cabinet and convince them to let him head the
party's state unit. These are all internal affairs of the party at
the state level and have nothing to do with the decision of the
high command for his resignation as chief minister," the source
quoted the observers telling Shohba and Bommai.
Party's state president K.S Eshwarappa also reiterated that
Yeddyurappa was bound to resign as decided by the high command in
line with the party's policy of directing those indicted by a
court of law or Lokayukta to step down.
"Though Yeddyurappa contributed immensely to the growth of the BJP
in the state, led the party to power and became the party's first
chief minister in south India, he is no exception to the policy
decision of the parliamentary board, which is supreme. He has no
option but abide by the high command's directive," Eshwarappa told
reporters late Friday.
With a sulking Yeddyurappa refusing to budge from his three
pre-conditions, the party was forced to cancel the legislature
party meeting that was rescheduled twice during the day.
Yeddyurappa claimed the support of 75 legislators, 15 MPs and 21
legislative council members in having a say in the formation of
the party's next government.
In a statement late Thursday, the chief minister said he would
tender his resignation July 31 after the end of Ashada masa
(month), which began July 2 and ends July 30, as it is considered
inauspicious time to take important decisions as per the Hindu
"I am a disciplined worker of the BJP. I have decided to tender my
resignation to the post of chief minister as per the direction of
the party. The month of Ashada (according to Hindu calendar) will
be over on 30th July 2011 on the New Moon day or Amavasya. I will
be tendering my resignation as Chief Minister on the forenoon of
31st July 2011," Yeddyurappa said in the statement.
The lingering crisis came in handy for the Congress to attack the
BJP. In New Delhi, its spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi mocked
at the party, saying Yeddyurappa appeared to be dictating terms to
The effort to find a successor to Yeddyurappa began late Thursday,
a few hours after the BJP parliamentary board met in New Delhi and
"unanimously" decided to ask the chief minister to resign.
The marching orders came a day after state Lokayukta N. Santosh
Hegde recommended Yeddyurappa's prosecution for graft in the huge
illegal mining scam.
BJP general secretary and in-charge of Karnataka party affairs
Dharmendra Pradhan has been holding meetings with groups of
legislators and ministers from Thursday evening. Late Thursday,
former BJP president and Rajya Sabha member from the state
M.Venkaiah Naidu joined him in the exercise.