As the BJP high command remained firm on BS Yeddyurappa’s exit if the lokayukta report on illegal mining named him, the beleaguered Karnataka CM pinned his hopes on god and the wordings of the report, which is to be submitted on Wednesday.
A downcast BSY left Bangalore for Tirupati to offer prayers, even as his government announced the appointment of justice Shivraj Patil as the new Lokayukta in place of Santosh Hegde whose term gets over by end of this month.
Lokayukta registrar Moosa Kunhi Nayar will submit the final report on illegal mining to state chief secretary SV Ranganath on Wednesday.
“As of now, BSY is still hopeful he will not be directly indicted,” said a BJP leader close to him.
He also pointed out that the Lokayukta Act gives three months to the state government to act on its report before the governor can intervene.
But, if the report is too damning, the BJP high command will not wait. In fact, party chief Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday had yet another round of discussion with BSY, conveying strongly the high command’s decision that he must quit if the Hegde report indicts him.
But BSY continued to be hopeful he would not be “strongly indicted” and, in any case, his government must be allowed to “study” the report before any action is sought against him.
BSY is believed to have told Gadkari that he would abide by the high command’s wishes but it too must not rush to conclusions without going into the report.
Led by senior leaders, including LK Advani and Arun Jaitley, the mood in the high command was that BSY could not expect leniency this time if the report was damning. The RSS’ position is also similar. Even Gadkari appears firm, having bailed out BSY on earlier occasions.
If pushed to the wall, his supporters do not rule out the possibility of BSY pressing for a snap poll, which may not be accepted by the high command. There is also a possibility that, left with no option, BSY may agree to quit if his close associate, energy minister Shoba Karandlaje, is accepted as his successor.
“Perhaps it’s the PM and home minister who should quit first after what (A) Raja (former telecom minister) directly disclosed,” BSY said on Tuesday.
“They don't have moral right to continue in office.”