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Show of strength ends in whimper

Yeddyurappa forced to climb down on his birthday with only 19 of 70 MLAs turning up in support.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2012 02:10 IST
HT Correspondent

After blowing hot, having set Monday as the deadline for the BJP central leadership to reinstate him, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa blew cold on D-day, his 70th birthday, dropping his demand.

With only 19 of the 70 MLAs, whose support he claims, turning up at a birthday function, Yeddyurappa staged the climbdown, but found fault with the party’s central leaders for his demand.

“Our central leaders had promised I would be brought back in four or six months, as I had to resign due to unfortunate developments.”

“Now, I will not go to Delhi to seek the post,” he said, three days after BJP president Nitin Gadkari had ruled out his reinstatement till he was cleared of corruption charges.

Yeddyurappa, who was forced to quit in July last year after being indicted by the then lokayukta N Santosh Hegde on charges of corruption in a mining scam, said he would not leave the party.

Fighting shy of announcing any drastic measures, Yeddyurappa said he would not, however, attend the BJP core committee meeting on leadership change on March 3 in Delhi.

Without naming chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda, he criticised him indirectly over growing perceptions of his closeness to Janata Dal (secular) chief HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy.

Yeddyurappa’s ire apparently stems from the buzz in Karnataka’s power corridors that the JD(S) leaders will prop up the CM if Yeddyurappa try to destablise his government.

Yeddyurappa said he would tour the state to strengthen the party. Assembly polls in Karnataka are due in April-May 2013 and Yeddyurappa has been angling for a decisive role.

Yeddyurappa is facing around a dozen cases of corruption and illegal land deals. The lokayukta had recommended his trial in the mining scam.

(With inputs from agencies)