Yeddyurappa convenes meeting of loyalists

Bangalore: In a renewed bid to get the party to reinstate him as Chief Minister, BJP Karnataka strongman B S Yeddyurappa today convened a meeting of his loyalists, including BJP legislators and MPs, here to remind the central leadership of its promise to give him justice.

Sources close to him said Ministers V Somanna, Shobha Karandlaje and C M Udasi were at his Race Course residence. Yeddyurappa has been contending that the BJP central leadership should fulfil its promise to reinstate him as the Chief Minister since it had assured him that it would act on its assurance once the High Court quashes an FIR filed against him in an illegal mining case.

On March 8, the High Court cleared him in the case. The BJP Central leadership had forced Yeddyurappa to quit in July 2011 after he was indicted by the Lokyukta report on illegal mining that had caused a political storm in the state. The meeting assumes significance as Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda is all set to present his first budget on March 21. State BJP President K S Eshwarappa`s statement that the party was ready for snap polls added fuel to the speculation of change of guard. He, however, later clarified that he was talking about referring to mid-term general election.

Sources said Yeddyurappa and some of his supporters would visit Delhi tomorrow to hold discussions with BJP President Nitin Gadkari on leadership issue. They also said Eshwarappa and Gowda are likely to visit Delhi and brief the party top brass regarding the developments in the party. Eshwarappa has dismissed reports on change of guard as nonsense.