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Yeddyurappa makes a fresh bid for come back; Gowda mum

Bangalore(PTI): Facing a fresh come back bid by B S Yeddyurappa after the Karnataka High Court gave him a clean chit in an illegal mining case, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today said the BJP central leadership would decide on the future of his predecessor.

Losing no time after the verdict came last evening, Yeddyurappa dispatched a copy of the judgement to party President Nitin Gadkari, who recently had rebuked him for mounting pressure for his reinstatement as chief minister and indicated he had to come clean in the corruption cases.

Sources close to Yeddyurappa said he had only sent the judgement copy to Gadkari, but it is seen as a reminder about the party’s promise that justice would be rendered to him once he was cleared of the charges.

Gowda said he would not like to comment on the issue of Yeddyurappa’s reinstatement. “When our leader Nitin Gadkari had come here recently, he had categorically asked us not to discuss this issue. We are bound by the instructions given by our high command and are going to follow it.”

“I therefore do not wish to comment on the issue. The decision will be taken by the high command,” Gowda, who succeeded Yeddyurappa after he quit in July last over his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining, said.

In a boost to Yeddyurappa, the High Court yesterday struck down a portion of then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde’s findings on illegal mining, holding that no case has been made out against the BJP leader that he favoured some mining firms. The court, which quashed an FIR registered on the basis of the Lokayukta report, had also held that Yeddyurappa was condemned without being given an opportunity to explain his position which was against principles of natural justice.

It had also quashed Governor H R Bhardwaj’s sanction to prosecute Yeddyurappa in the case in which a trust run by his family members was alleged to have received donations from a mining firm for official favours.

Meanwhile, Minister for Major Irrigation Basvaraj Bommai, a known loyalist of Yeddyurappa, exuded optimism that the party high command will take a decision considering the court verdict.

Bommai, who is in the fore front in organising a function at Hubli on March 11 to mark the 70th birthday celebrations of Yeddyurappa, billed as the show of strength by the former chief minister, said Gowda and state unit party president K S Eshwarappa would also be invited.

Several legislators who have been supporting ‘make Yeddyurappa chief minister again’ campaign called on their leader and pledged support to him.

Sources said Yeddyurappa’s loyalists planned to visit Delhi early next week to put pressure on the party central leadership to decide on re-instating Yeddyurappa.
Eshwarappa has welcomed the court verdict, but ruled out any change of guard.

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