‘Party brass had doubts about my integrity’
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa admitted on Monday that the central leadership had doubts about his integrity when he was in the midst of corruption charges recently.india Updated: Feb 21, 2011 23:34 IST
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa admitted on Monday that the central leadership had doubts about his integrity when he was in the midst of corruption charges recently.
He blamed himself for failing to coordinate with the top brass and said he was enjoying the full support of his bosses, including that of party president Nitin Gadkari with whom he had discussed the latter's "immoral, not illegal" formulation. He said he would further strengthen himself in the state through monthly self-appraisal reports, counter-attacks on the Gowdas over their land deals through legal action and acquisition of the lands, and a populist budget.
"Now I have the full support of central leaders," Yeddyurappa told Hindustan Times in a freewheeling interaction, emphasizing on the "now" to suggest that his clout with the party's central leadership had greatly improved. "I did not brief leaders in Delhi as frequently as I should have. When I did explain to them that the charges against me were baseless, they understood. Now I will take care to coordinate with them on a regular basis." The CM also showed all signs of coming out with a populist budget days from now to further cement his support base: he will have a separate agricultural budget for farmers and offer farm loans at 1% interest.
Many BJP leaders including Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were believed to be against him when charges of favouring his kin in land deals had surfaced, but Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari had reportedly backed him on the grounds that he had a strong Lingayat base in Karnataka.
Gadkari had, however, invented a half-critical formulation even while backing him: he had said Yeddyurappa's action was "immoral, not illegal". When asked whether he agreed, Yeddyurappa replied in the negative, saying he had discussed the matter with Gadkari. On whether Gadkari had been convinced, he said: "He is the party president. You know that he supported me in the rally yesterday."
Yeddyurappa clearly exudes the confidence of one who knows his party has no mass leader of his stature in the state but is also eager to make peace with the party's brass.