Bangalore(PTI): The leadership crisis in ruling BJP in Karnataka worsened today when loyalists of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa boycotted the budget session on the opening day, insisting on an early legislature party meet to elect a new leader.
The legislators lodged in a private resort since Sunday decided to extend their stay till the BJP Central leadership accepts their demand for an early decision to re-instate their leader as Chief Minister.
Yeddyurappa had rejected senior BJP leader Arun Jaitely’s request to attend the budget session, according to a source close to the leader. The BJP leadership had said it would send an emissary to resolve the crisis after the session.
However, the BJP high command convinced Yeddyurappa that Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda be allowed to present his budget tomorrow in the assembly.
“The Central leadership will be sending its emissary to Bangalore to resolve the leadership issue and Gowda will present the budget as scheduled tomorrow”, Minister for Water Resources and Yeddyurappa loyalist Basavaraj Bommai told reporters at the resort.
The rebels decided to depute Rural Development minister Jagadish Shettar, Public Works Minister C M Udasi, MLAs– Lakshminarayan and Chandrakant Bellad– as their representatives to attend the legislature session.
Bommai defended the boycott decision, saying it was done in the wake of statements by some leaders about the number of legislators supporting Yeddyurappa, in an obvious reference to state unit BJP President K S Eswarappa remarks that about 30 MLAs were in the resort.
He claimed that more than 70 legislators supported Yeddyurappa and demanded that the BJP high command decide on convening a legislature party meet on the leadership issue.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said he has been authorised by the party to present the budget tomorrow and hoped the crisis would end soon.