After failing to secure an appointment with BJP patriarch LK Advani, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa met party president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday to push for honourable rehabilitation after his ouster from office on corruption charges.
A group of loyal MPs accompanied him. The team demanded Yeddyurappa be given another chance to become CM or state BJP president.
This happened just hours after about eight Karnataka MPs met Advani with a letter signed by 17 parliamentarians, asking for an “honourable rehabilitation” for the Lingayat strongman. A close aide of Advani said he (Advani) advised them to talk to Gadkari as this was his area of responsibility.
J Shantha, a Lok Sabha MP and sister of B Sriramulu, who quit the BJP and won an assembly seat as independent, was a signatory to the letter.
Sources close toYeddyurappa said the delegation was hurt by Advani's alleged "indifference", with the latter reportedly expressing displeasure about Yeddyurappa’s statements “against” him.
They, however, said Gadkari later assured them serious thought would be given to their concerns. Gadkari told them not to take any hasty decision.
Yeddyuurappa was considered a central character in the party’s rise in the southern state on account of his being the tallest Lingayat leader there. Another electoral problem is the parallel sidelining of the mining baron Reddy brothers of Bellary – hostile to Yeddyurappa – from the party over illegal mining. The BJP realised their political clout when Reddy loyalist Sriramulu decimated the BJP in the Bellary assembly bypoll.
With inputs from Bangalore