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Gadkari rules out change of guard in Karnataka

Bangalore(PTI): B S Yeddyurappa’s bid to get himself reinstated as Karnataka Chief Minister was today rebuffed by BJP President Nitin Gadkari who ruled out removal of incumbent D V Sadananda Gowda.

Gadkari, however, tried to mollify the sulking BJP strongman, saying the party respects him.

“Sadananda Gowda is leading the government now. The question of changing the leadership does not arise,” Gadkari told reporters after addressing the party legislators at the ‘Chintan Manthan’ here, which was curtailed to a one-day affair in the wake of political fissures.

Gadkari sought to put up a brave front in the wake of the power struggle triggered by Yeddyurappa’s intensified bid to regain the chief ministership, saying “first of all there is no political crisis in Karnataka. The party is united. The party is very much committed for the progress and development of Karnataka”.

In a show of strength, Yeddyurappa had yesterday hosted a lunch to MLAs, MLCs and MPs and sought their support for his campaign to get a position either as chief minister or the state unit party President and raised the demand during his meeting with Gadkari.

Gadkari admitted there were “small problems”.”Karnataka Core Group has been invited to Delhi probably on March 3 to solve them. We will solve them,” he said.

Asked about the February 27 deadline set by Yeddyurappa to the party to decide on his demand for a “position”, Gadkari claimed there was no such ultimatum.

“Yeddyurappa is party’s popular leader in Karnataka and a popular face of the party in the state. The party respects him”.

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