With tears in his eyes, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa prepared his loyalists to accept the compromise formula with the rebels brokered by the BJP’s central leadership.
Though the rebel Reddy brothers — G. Janardhana and G. Karunakara — have still not said that they accepted the deal, an emotional Yeddyurappa confessed he had “ditched” loyalists under pressure from the dissidents.
“For my selfish ends, I was forced to ditch those who were my trusted people — be it Shobha (Karandlaje) or (V.P.) Baligar,” he told Kannada channel Suvarna on Saturday. “Even God will not forgive me for this.”
Rural Development Minister Shobha Karandlaje and V.P. Baligar, the CM’s principal secretary, are both considered to be very close to Yeddyurappa.
As a first step to show that he was implementing the ‘peace’ pact worked out by senior BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, the chief minister had agreed to transfer Baligar.
His agreeing to sack Karandlaje is being seen as one of the toughest decisions of his political life. There were protests in Bangalore against the proposed sacking of Karandlaje.
However, rebel leader and tourism minister Janardhana Reddy made light of the CM’s public display of emotion. “Why is he crying? What for? You tell me,” he told journalists.
Janardhana, who went to Hyderabad on Friday to persuade the rebel MLAs, failed to return to Delhi for a joint appearance with Yeddyurappa to announce the compromise deal.
Naidu, Jaitley and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj reportedly told Janardhana on phone that the Reddys must accept the compromise formula or face consequences.
Janardhana, Revenue Minister Karunakara and their associate, Health Minister B. Sreeramulu held talks with speaker Jagdish Shettar in Bangalore.
The brothers, who wanted Yeddyurappa to step down, were trying to pitch for Shettar as chief minister.
The CM, who held yet another rounds of talks with central leaders at Naidu’s home on Saturday, reportedly resisted fresh proposals from the Reddys to drop at least six ministers.
He was also against revoking transfer of officials from Bellary, who are allegedly close to the Reddys. But he was ready to discuss “posting of good officers” for flood relief work.
“The government will complete its full term under my leadership,” Yeddyurappa said.