In which BSY takes his exit planners down a few notches
A little after 2.30 am early on Thursday, July 28, B.S. Yediyurappa finally left Nitin Gadkari’s residence, but not before delivering a final punch to the party leadership which had been urging him to resign and seek a successor. “Yediyurappa’s only alternative is Yediyurappa,” the CM had apparently told the leadership.
By now the defiant Karnataka CM had clocked almost four hours with the BJP top brass. At the BJP chief’s Tughlak Road residence, he had defended his stand. Gadkari, ex-president Rajnath Singh, Karnataka state in-charge Arun Jaitley and senior leader Venkaiah Naidu had already spent an hour in a huddle, discussing Yeddy’s ouster.
BSY’s exit had become inevitable since the party was planning to up the ante against Union home minister P. Chidambaram in the 2G scam. It had to sacrifice its tainted CM to save its anti-corruption crusade in the monsoon session. Only, Yediyurappa wasn’t quite ready to quit. Along with state leaders M.P. Kumar, Jagadish Shettar, Eshwarappa, V. Satish and advocate-general Ashok Haranahalli, he was putting up a fight. Yeddy’s political manager, Lehar Singh, was also batting for him—but the mood in Delhi had changed irrevocably. L.K. Advani’s opinion that BSY be removed to save the party from public embarrassment had found more supporters. Rajnath and Sushma Swaraj were slowly aligning with the Advani camp. So too was old BSY foe Ananth Kumar.
By July 27 afternoons, BSY’s only two supporters in Delhi, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari, were finding it tough to defend him. Sources confirm that while Jaitley was initially in support of the CM’s suggestion to dissolve the assembly, pressure within the party made him change his mind. Gadkari had already been told by his advisors that the best way out would be Yeddy’s exit. Strong opposition to BSY also came from Venkaiah Naidu.
It was Naidu who had to bear the brunt of Yeddy’s anger. Sources confirm that as Naidu urged the CM to resign, the latter asked him “to keep quiet”. Furthermore, he added, “Mr Naidu, you are an RS member from Karnataka. Tell me, how many times have you visited the state and spoken to the MLAs and MLCs who got you here. You know nothing about Karnataka.”
Around 2.30 am, when BSY finally left, the meeting was inconclusive. Gadkari, though, was confident that he would get the CM to step down.