Bangalore, Jul 28: Appearing to be in no hurry to quit without a fight, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today held consultations with his loyalist ministers and legislators and sought to rope in the Reddy brothers to weigh the options before him after the BJP top brass asked him to step down. Shortly after his arrival from Delhi where he was told by the top brass to make way for another leader after the Lokayukta report on mining scam, Yeddyurappa went into a huddle with more than a dozen ministers, including C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani, Umesh Katti and Basavaraj Bommai.
Health and Family Welfare Minister B Sreeramulu, a close confidant of the Reddy brothers from mineral-rich Bellary district—Ministers G Karunakara and G Janardhana --who have been indicted in the Lokayukta report—met Yeddyurappa after being called by him. Before meeting the Chief Minister, Sreeramulu said the party high command is supreme. “We will abide by the party high command. We are not bigger than high command, we are not bigger than the party. High command decision is final”.
Bommai, as an emissary of Yeddyurappa, was believed to have met the Reddy brothers, amid indications that the Chief Minister has widened his consultations on his options. Sreeramulu joining the consultations assumes significance as the Reddy brothers had always been associated with the rival camp of Yeddyurappa, who had earlier faced a rebellion led by the mining magnates from Bellary. Along with Yeddyurappa, the Reddy brothers have been strongly indicted in his findings on illegal mining by Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, which have plunged the state into a political turmoil.
State unit President K S Eshwarappa, whose name is also doing the rounds to succeed Yeddyurappa, said he is confident that the Chief Minister would abide by the central leadership's decision.
Party sources said the BJP leadership assured Yeddyurappa that he would be reinstated if his name is cleared by courts after a “legal fight” vis-a-vis fallout from the Lokayukta report.
Earlier today, when he landed from New Delhi, Yeddyurappa, who completed three years in office in May, appeared downcast and said he would go back to the national capital on July 31.
Yeddyurappa's indictment pertained to violations of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Lokayukta also submitted a copy of his report to Governor H R Bhardwaj recommending to him to initiate “further steps”.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Karnataka Cabinet convened here this afternoon to discuss in detail the Lokayukta report on illegal mining has been cancelled, official sources said.
The cabinet meeting was scheduled at start at 3.30 pm amid intense speculation on what action the government proposed to take on the report which has put it on the mat vis-a-vis illegal mining, particularly in mineral-rich Bellary district. PTI