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Yeddyurappa to meet BJP top brass to 'prove innocence'

Under mounting pressure to quit over alleged land scams, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is making a last ditch attempt to convince the BJP high command that he should be allowed to continue in the top post.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Bangalore
UPDATED ON NOV 21, 2010 01:04 PM IST

Under mounting pressure to quit over alleged land scams, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is making a last ditch attempt to convince the BJP high command that he should be allowed to continue in the top post.

Amid reports that the top BJP leadership is weighing the pros and cons of axing him to save the party's image, Yeddyurappa will leave for New Delhi this evening on his second visit to the capital in the last three days to present his case.

The beleaguered Yeddyurappa, under intense attack from the opposition, particularly JDS, would tell the central leadership that he commanded majority and that he cannot be sacked unilaterally, sources close to him said here.

The sources said that more than a dozen ministers and some MLAs might accompany the Chief Minister to Delhi and some more may join them later.

The exercise of presenting his flock of ministers and MLAs is directed at negating the opinion being aired by his detractors within the party that Yeddyurappa was not popular among his ministerial colleagues and MLAs, they said.

A group within the faction-ridden BJP, which is gunning for Yeddyurappa's scalp, however, is confident about a change in leadership.

The group claims that the party cannot afford to allow him to continue after the land scams allegedly involving Yeddyurappa's close relatives have been exposed.

The Core Committee of BJP is meeting in Delhi on Sunday, a day after JDS levelled a fresh charge against Yeddyurappa's kin that they had sold land worth Rs 20 crore to a mining firm and raised doubts about its ownership.

Yeddyurappa has rejected the charges and claimed the opposition wanted to topple his government.

The Yeddyurappa camp is hoping that the high command might not risk a change in leadership with panchayat elections likely to be held next month.

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