A compromise formula drawn to save the BJP government in Karnataka left Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa fuming and rebel Reddy brothers defiant as ever, delaying a final solution by a day.
An upset Yeddyurappa returned to Karnataka Bhawan from senior party leaders L.K. Advani’s residence on Thursday evening after party seniors told him to throw controversial Rural Development Minister Shoba Karandlaje out of the cabinet and also four other ministers considered close to him.
The CM had conveyed to the high command that he would remove Karandlaje, if it “satisfied” the Reddys — Revenue Minister Karunakar Reddy and Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy — who want to see her out. He also agreed to shift out principal secretary V.P. Baligar and make Speaker Jagdish Shettar a minister in his cabinet.
But the Reddys, who refused to meet Yeddyurappa on Thursday, said Karandlaje’s removal wasn’t enough. They wanted more ministers loyal to him to be dropped, BJP sources said.
As the central leaders were inclined to please the Reddys, the CM bargained that some ministers from their camp be booted out. But, was met with a firm no, the sources said.
Yeddyurappa then proposed that Karandlaje be made the state BJP chief, but the Reddys didn’t want any role for her in the party too.
The Reddys, who have been saying openly that nothing but Yeddyurappa’s exit will do, also demanded portfolios like home, environment and forests, and mines. Yeddyurappa opposed, saying the brothers should not be handed over the departments that’ll further their mining interests.
The proposal for a coordination committee for supervising the day-to-day running of the state government also left the CM angry.
The panel would have included his bete noire Ananth Kumar, party general secretary being blamed by the CM’s men for triggering the crisis. Several ministers, including the Reddys, would have been on the panel that would have kept a check on the CM, the sources said.