The ruling BJP in Karnataka got some respite on Monday, when nine ministers owing allegiance to former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa withdrew their resignations after BJP leader Arun Jaitley assured them the party would resolve the crisis in the state.
Jaitley spoke to Yeddyurappa and told him that central leaders would look into his demands and a formula would be worked out to smoothen the functioning of the state government.
Jaitley told him and the nine ministers that they should first withdraw their resignations and maintain a united front until the presidential election on July 19 was over.
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari also spoke to these leaders to convey the message that the party high command was "seized" of their grievances.Gadkari had invited them to his son's wedding reception.
In a reversal of the rebels' earlier stand, Basavaraj Bommai, one of the nine ministers, said they had not given any deadline to the party's national leaders to change the chief minister. The party, however, did not change its position on Yeddyurappa, who has been reportedly told that he could not be reinstated as chief minister due to the graft cases against him.
But his demand that fellow Lingayat Jagdish Shettar — one of the nine ministers — be given an important role may be considered.
BJP leaders are looking at the possibility of making Shettar deputy chief minister and also increasing the number of berths for Yeddyurappa's loyalists.
These leaders had on Sunday stepped up pressure on the BJP's central leadership by setting a July 5 deadline for removing chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda and replacing him with Shettar.
As a show of strength, Yeddyurappa's loyalist ministers, MLAs and MP met at Shettar's residence and even released a list of 52 supporting MLAs. Gowda was chosen to be CM by Yeddyurappa but the two fell out.