BJP leadership may yield to Yeddy after Prez poll

New Delhi: BJP central leadership today heard the views of both warring factions of the party in Karnataka amid indications that Chief Minister Sadanand Gowda may be replaced by Lingayat leader Jagdish Shettar after the Presidential poll. BJP president Nitin Gadkari and general secretary in charge of Karnataka Dharmendra Pradhan today held a meeting here with state unit leaders, including Gowda, Shettar and state unit President K S Eshwarappa.

After the meeting, Pradhan told reporters that all important leaders of Karnataka have conveyed their stand on the issue to the party top brass. "We are moving towards a solution. Whatever will be decided will be decided within the party frame," Pradhan, flanked by Eshwarappa and Shettar, said. Shettar has been propped up by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who is leading the rebel faction and claiming that around 70 BJP MLAs out of a total of 120 in the 225-member Assembly were supporting him.

Eshwarappa earlier said the party is hopeful of finding a solution to the current crisis in the state and maintained that any decision taken by the Parliamentary Board will be binding and acceptable to both the factions. "The BJP Parliamentary Board will take a decision on the current crisis and whatever decision is taken will be binding on us," Eshwarappa told PTI here. The Parliamentary Board is the highest decision-making body of the BJP.

He said the differences between the BJP leaders in the state were not irreconcilable and will be sorted out. The nine dissident cabinet ministers in Karnataka had taken back their resignations on Monday, reportedly after they were promised that their demand for making Shettar the Chief Minister will be looked into once the Presidential poll on July 19 is over. The party top brass has indicated that Shettar may be made CM once the presidential elections are over.