Crisis in BJP's Karnataka unit appeared to worsen today with former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa insisting on a February 27 ultimatum for his reinstatement and party president Nitin Gadkari ruling out replacing incumbent Sadananda Gowda.
Yeddyurappa, who was forced to resign more than six months ago after a Lokayukta report indicted him on illegal mining, made it clear to the party chief that he was in no mood to wait any longer.
Ahead of the BJP's 'Chintan Manthan Baitak', Gadkari had a meeting with Yeddyurappa on Friday morning and separately met chief minister Sadananda Gowda to bring about a truce.
Sources said Yeddyurappa was adamant on his stand and wants Gowda to be removed. Gowda, who was Yeddyurappa's choice for the post when he himself had to step down after being indicted in a graft case by the Karnataka Lokayukta, has now fallen out with Yeddyurappa.
The Central leadership does not want a division in the party in Karnataka and is making an earnest attempt to placate Yeddyurappa and reason out with him.
When Yeddyurappa was asked to step down from the chief minister's post, two Central leaders- Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu- were deputed to settle the issue amicably.
The outcome of the present crisis is still unclear as the Central leadership is not keen on bringing in Yeddyurappa . However, his hold over the Lingayat community- which has been loyal to the BJP- and the fact that he has built the party in Karnataka over the years is weighing in his favour.
Yeddyurappa has also turned his foes like Jagadish Shettar, rural development and panchayat minister, into friends, adding to the problems of the top brass.