New Delhi: Ending days of speculation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday asked Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to resign following his indictment by the Lokayukta, the anti-graft watchdog, in the illegal mining case.
The leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, and senior party leader Rajnath Singh have been deputed to go to Bangalore on Friday to review the future course of action.
The decision was taken after a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board at BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s residence.
Also Read Lokayukta report indicts Yeddyurappa
“He (Yeddyurappa) has been advised to go... Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley will go tomorrow,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, party spokesperson, after the meeting.
Meanwhile, in what could be a sign of defiance, Yeddyurappa is holding a meeting of Karnataka party MLAs in Bangalore.
On Wednesday, Yeddurappa had been summoned to Delhi by the party top brass after Karnataka Lokayukta justice Santosh Hegde formally submitted his report on illegal mining in the state.
Yeddyurappa left for Bangalore early on Thursday morning.
Earlier, on his arrival in Delhi on Wednesday evening with his ministers and close confidants, Yeddyurappa appeared defiant and said he had not been asked to resign.
In the meeting with the party president and senior central party leaders Rajnath Singh, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Dharmendra Pradhan, the political fallout of the Lokayukta report was discussed with Yeddyurappa.
The chief minister tried to convince the central leadership that the charges made in the report were not new and a court case was already pending in the matter.
However, the central leadership conveyed to him that his continuance would weaken the BJP’s fight against corruption, especially when the monsoon session of Parliament begins next week.
When asked about what took place at Wednesday’s meeting at Gadkari’s residence, former Karnataka BJP president and Udipi MP D.V. Sadananda Gowda said Yeddyurappa explained his views on the situation arising out of the Lokatyukta report..
He said other senior party leaders also submitted their reports on the current political situation in the state.
On the chief minister convening a meeting of his party supporters, Gowda said, “It is Yeddyurappa who built the party in Karnataka and has taken the party leadership there and given good governance. I don’t think he will do anything that will damage the party.”
“We will abide by the decision of the party board,” he said.
PTI also contributed to this story