Amid indications that the BJP high command has asked him to quit, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa ignored summons to reach Delhi Monday morning as directed but rushed his trusted cabinet minister V S Acharya.
Under mounting pressure to step down in the wake of alleged land scams, a defiant Yeddyurappa also appeared to be sending feelers to the BJP top brass to refrain from pushing for his resignation, hours after he struck a defiant note and cancelled his visit to Delhi last night.
Yeddyurappa has rushed a team of his loyalists including Acharya and Home Minister R Ashok to Delhi apparently to persuade the BJP top brass against change in leadership.
The Chief Minister was summoned to reach the national capital this morning but he left for Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh to "seek the blessings" of Sri Satya Sai Baba. He is participating in the ongoing 85th Birthday celebrations of Satya Sai Baba, sources said.
The BJP leadership, which on Sunday summoned Yeddyurappa to meet them, also sent word to him through one of his sons that he should quit by today, party sources said.
There is no official word yet on Yeddyurappa's visit to Delhi as per the direction of his party top brass but there were reports he may reach the Capital Monday evening.
The party's core group which met in Delhi on Sunday had authorised BJP president Nitin Gadkari to take a decision on Karnataka.
"I didn't have to go to Delhi, our leaders have gone to speak to party High Command. I believe even top leaders are satisfied. Will see what senior leaders says," the Chief Minister said before he left for Puttaparthi from Bangalore.
"I am more or less satisfied with the developments. With God's blessings, support of state and national leaders, we need to continue our work in Karnataka," he added.
Shortly after his arrival in New Delhi, Acharya, who is Karnataka's Higher Education Minister, told reporters "We want Yeddyurappa to continue. There is no alternative to him. The BJP high command has not taken any decision".
Ashok, who met Gadkari, claimed "there is no crisis in Karnataka. Only opposition parties are making this 'hungama'. So I think today or tomorrow, it will be solved by Central leaders."
Top BJP leaders including Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and BJP General Secretary (Organization) Ramlal met with Gadkari late Sunday night when it was decided to summon chief minister this morning after he cancelled the visit.
Sources said BJP's central leaders felt that it was becoming increasingly untenable for Yeddyurappa to continue in office at a time when the party was carrying on a campaign at the national level on the telecom scam.
Yeddyurappa, however, has remained defiant and had been holding consultations with his close aides on the future course of action.