BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa’s ultimatum on his regaining a high office in Karnataka and pressure tactics have been inconsequential as party president Nitin Gadkari said on Friday there would be no change in the current leadership.
“Sadananda Gowda is leading the government now. The question of changing the leadership does not arise,” said Gadkari, who had come to Bangalore to attend a chintan-manthan baithak (contemplative meeting).Before the baithak, Yeddyurappa and his supporters met Gadkari at the hotel where he was staying.
A party leader said supporters of Yeddyurappa asked Gadkari to give him another term as chief minister because he was the strongest leader in the state BJP. The BJP would have a good chance in the next election if he had been reinstated, they said.
Yeddyurappa had given the party leadership the deadline of February 27 on reinstating him as chief minister or making him state party president.
However, in a bid to mollify Yeddyurappa, who was asked to quit by the central leadership last year for his indictment in the lokayukta report on illegal mining, Gadkari said the party too had reservations on the findings of the anti-corruption watchdog.
“The report has done injustice to Yeddyurappa. He has challenged it. I hope Yeddyurappa would get justice early. After getting justice, the party will definitely honour him,” he said.
But behind the soft talk, there was the iron fist.
At the end of the baithak, Gadkari said leaders who did not have respect for the party's principles were free to leave. He concluded saying the party must focus on the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha byelection on March 18. Asked about the prevailing crisis, Gadkari said, “I feel there are no problems.” The baithak ended in two hours though it was scheduled to be held over two days.
After returning to his residence, Yeddyurappa held consultations with his supporters but later participated in the baithak.
With inputs from PTI