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Yeddy ‘puts off’ decision to quit party

Bangalore(IANS): Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party government is safe for now as former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Monday announced that he has “temporarily put off the decision to quit the party”.

“I had decided to quit. This was my decision at 12 noon. But I am putting it off by a few days in view of appeal by party president Nitin Gadkari and senior leader Arun Jaitley and several religious heads and many BJP supporters,” he said at a press conference here.

Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s first chief minister in the state, and indeed in the south, who was forced to quit over corruption charges July 31 last year, also said nine ministers loyal to him who had given their resignation letters to him would for now continue in the ministry.

He launched a blistering attack on his successor D.V. Sadananda Gowda, state party chief K.S. Eshwarappa and party general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar, blaming them for the crisis that threatened to bring down the party government in the state.

Yeddyurappa said Jaitley had telephoned him Monday urging him not to take any extreme step.

The former chief minister has been making desperate attempts for several months now for his re-instatement. That possibility, however, has become remote following the Supreme Court order last Friday for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into corruption charges against him.

Fearing his and his supporters’ marginalisation following the apex court decision, Yeddyurappa Saturday secured the resignation of nine ministers loyal to him to force the BJP leaders to replace Gowda with another person of his choice.

Though Gowda was his choice in July last year, the two have fallen out. Yeddyurappa claims that Gowda had agreed to step down after six months. Since this did not happen, he has been calling Gowda a “traitor” and making frantic efforts to unseat him.

The BJP came to power for the first time in the state in May 2008. Its rule has been marked by dissidence and corruption and other cases against at least 20 of the party’s 120 legislators, including Yeddyurappa.

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