Karnataka rebels, it seems, are in no mood to relent and are making the most of the party leadership’s anxiety to save its first ever government in south.
On Tuesday, the camp, led by Reddy brothers, kept up pressure for a change in leadership in the state.
Ignoring party leaders’ assertion that B.S. Yeddyurappa will continue as the CM, the rebel MLAs and ministers said they’ll not settle for anything less than a change in leadership.
“I’m 100 per cent hopeful that the high command will consider our demands. We’re asking for a very good leadership,” said Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy, as he on Tuesday took up for the second time the rebel camp’s demands with party leader Sushma Swaraj.
Party leaders admitted they were willing to “accommodate” the Reddys to save the government. They, however, did say they were worried about the brothers’ “financial clout”. The Reddys’ fortunes have been on the up since 2004 — when their mentor, late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, became the CM in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
“Even if we’re able to secure a deal between the Reddy brothers and Yeddyurappa, it won’t last beyond six months as they’ll not allow any stability till they get their man,” a senior BJP functionary, who was part of the negotiations, said.
“The Reddys have that kind of money to overthrow any government,” he said, refusing to be identified.
A Karnataka leader, however, said, “They may keep up the demand for the CM’s ouster only to extract the portfolios they want - home, environment and forests.”
Yeddyurappa, who will be here on Wednesday, is bracing for the worst. He has told his loyalists that he much rather face elections than give in to Reddys.
The Reddy brothers claim the support of 40 of the 117 party MLAs in a House of 224, which also has a nominated member.
Janardhan Reddy’s elder brother and Revenue Minister Karunakar described party chief Rajnath Singh’s statement on Yeddyurappa continuing as the CM as a “media creation.” “He (Singh) has not told us anything like that.”
“If that was the case, why would I meet Sushma Swaraj today?” said Janaradhan.