BJP buys time, calls Karnataka rebels to Delhi | delhi | Hindustan Times
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BJP buys time, calls Karnataka rebels to Delhi

delhi Updated: Oct 30, 2009 23:42 IST
Shekhar Iyer

They don’t have the numbers to challenge his leadership but the BJP rebels pushing for the ouster of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa have remained firm.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who wound up his three-day visit to Banglore on Friday, asked them to come to Delhi on Saturday for discussion.

The rebels, who have questioned the style of functioning of Yeddyurappa, are led by the Reddy brothers and Speaker Jagadish Shettar. Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, his associate Health Minister B. Sriramulu, Shettar, state BJP chief D.V. Sadanand Gowda and some rebel MLAs are expected in Delhi. Tourism Minister Janardhana Reddy, the eldest of the Reddy brothers, is staying put in Bellary.

With some BJP MLAs packed off to Hyderabad, the Reddy brothers find the anti-defection law a big stumbling block. They need 80 of the 117 MLAs on their side. The magic figure needed to form the government is 113 in the House of 224.

The 74-member Congress Legislature Party hasn’t taken sides, so far.

The 27-member Janata Dal (Secular) group can tilt scales but H.D. Deve Gowda and his former CM son H.D. Kumaraswamy dislike the Reddys.

Gowda said, “The JD(S) will not be interested in taking advantage of the present political situation.” But sources said the party would adopt a “wait-and-watch policy.”

Jaitley said he was confident that the issue would be resolved. “It will take some time but it will be sorted out.” He also made it clear that “there is no change in the leadership of Yeddyurappa…”

The Reddy brothers contend that the CM triggered the crisis by transferring the Bellary deputy commissioner and police chief, said to be close to them. The decision to transfer officials, on grounds of tardy flood work, was seen as an insult by the Reddys.

The Reddy brothers, who were close to late CM Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, are upset that the Andhra Pradesh police have registered a case of encroachment — an indication that the political climate in the neighbouring state, too, is not very conducive to them.