Karnataka BJP row resolution delayed

Karnataka BJP row resolution delayed

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressed confidence on Thursday that a compromise formula could be worked out between Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and rebel party legislators led by the Reddy brothers, although senior party leaders said a full resolution may be reached only by the end of the week, indicating there were some issues to be ironed out.

“Any announcement would be made only in two days time," the party’s M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters late on Thursday. Party chief Rajnath Singh had said earlier in the day that the “crisis has almost been sorted out, it will be announced in a matter of hours".

State tourism minister G. Janardhana Reddy and his elder brother and revenue minister G. Karunakara Reddy, who have claimed the support of 116 BJP members in the 225-seat House, have been demanding a change in leadership in the state.

Yeddyurappa, who arrived in Delhi on Wednesday evening, held separate meetings with senior leader L.K. Advani and party chief Singh in the presence of general secretaries Ananth Kumar and Sushma Swaraj. Senior leader Arun Jaitley was also present at the meetings.

The brothers are known to be close to Swaraj, having backed her when she fought the Bellary Lok Sabha seat against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in 1999.

“There is no discussion of a leadership change in Karnataka, this issue never came up before me," Singh said when asked if the party was ready for a change of guard.

“There could be changes in the state cabinet and administration as per the grievances but the party is not ready for a change in the chief ministership for the time being," said a senior party leader, who didn’t want be named as he’s not authorised to speak to the media.

Rebel legislators have criticised rural development minister Shobha Karandlaje and principal secretary V.P. Baligar for influencing the chief minister and the working of the party in the state.

Karandlaje told reporters in Bangalore on Thursday evening that she was ready to quit if the party wanted her to step down.

“The chief minister will hold a meeting with the Reddy brothers on Friday," Karnataka BJP chief Sadananda Gowda told reporters after meeting Advani on Thursday evening.