New Delhi: The deadlock between rival camps in the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, government in Karnataka persisted on Sunday with chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s emissaries claiming the party’s brass gave an assurance of no change of guard while the dissidents kept the leadership issue still open.
The BJP’s central leadership stepped in to attempt to defuse the crisis in its government and met the emissaries, as the war of words between the two sides continued unabated.
Damage control: BJP leader Arun Jaitley with chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and other party members in Bangalore on Thursday. PTI
Yeddyurappa charged the dissidents with trying to destabilize his government at a time when the state was grappling with the worst floods while the rival camp led by his ministerial colleagues—the powerful Reddy brothers from Bellary—accused him of cheating the people.
“The central leadership, especially (BJP’s pointsman for resolving the crisis) Arun Jaitley, made it very clear that there will be no change in leadership,” Karnataka BJP unit chief Sadanand Gowda, who led the emissaries comprising state MPs and ministers for a series of meetings with central leaders including BJP chief Rajnath Singh and L.K. Advani in New Delhi.
Admitting that there were some “small differences” between senior colleagues in the cabinet, he told reporters these will be sorted out in “a day or two”. Home minister V.S. Acharya was among the emissaries.
“We met L.K. Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj and all of them were of the same view that the leadership in Karnataka will not be changed. They have a firm view on this,” Yeddyurappa’s emissary and former member of Parliament Dhananjay Kumar told ‘PTI’.
“Whatever grievances the other party (dissidents) has, the leadership is open to listening to them and arriving at an amicable solution,” Kumar said.
However, sources in the dissident camp said the change in leadership issue is still open. The Reddy brothers — Janardhan Reddy and G. Karunakar Reddy —are expected to arrive in the Capital on Monday.
Meanwhile, Karnataka speaker Jagadish Shettar, who is representing the dissidents lead by the Reddy brothers, held a meeting with Jaitley and Karnataka MP Ananth Kumar.
Shettar is being projected by the dissidents brothers as their candidate for chief minister’s post.
(Mint’s Santosh K. Joy contributed to this story.)