Yeddyurappa finally resigns as Karnataka CM

Bangalore: Ending a three-day standoff with BJP central leadership, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today submitted his resignation to the Governor following his indictment in illegal mining scam by the Lokayukta, saying that he has been accused unfairly.

Amid high-voltage drama, Yeddyurappa walked to the Raj Bhavan along with ministers and over 60 MLAs loyal to him and handed over the resignation letter to Governor H R Bhardwaj after a 38-month tumultuous stint in office.

Emerging out of Raj Bhavan, Yeddyurappa announced that he had stepped down from the Chief Ministership "without any hesitation" bowing to the central leadership`s directive.

"As a disciplines soldier of the party, bowing to the decision of party leadership, I have stepped down from the position of CM," he said, adding, "I have been accused unfairly". .

Yeddyurappa said he was bowing to the directive of party seniors and stepping down as the chief minister "without any hesitation".

"No sacrifice is above party," said Yeddyurappa, who remained defiant and kept the party in suspense till the last minute demanding that the high command announce a successor of his choice before he put in his papers.

He said though his government worked sincerely to preserve the natural resources, accusations had been made against him, apparently referring to illegal mining on which Lokayukta Santosh Hegde had indicted him in his report, triggering a political storm.

The Governor accepted the resignation of Yeddyurappa and asked him to continue till alternative arrangements are made, a Raj Bhavan communique said.

The day`s drama unfolded with Yeddyurappa faxing his resignation letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari, easing some anxiety of the central leadership which was on tenterhooks all the three days.

Yeddyurappa, who was instrumental in bringing the first ever BJP rule in the South, resorted to a show of strength again today when he was accompanied by a large number of MLAs and ministers when he walked from his Race Course residence to Raj Bhavan.

Tension mounted in the BJP camp for the third successive day as party emissaries Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh struggled to break the logjam as Yeddyurappa, an influential leader of the Lingayat community, stuck to his guns on the issue of his successor.

Yeddyurappa favoured Udupi-Chikmagalur MP, D V Sadananda Gowda to succeed him and conveyed his wish to the party leaders, but the stand-off persisted as speculation was rife that his bete-noire and BJP national general secretary H N Ananth Kumar`s name was also being considered.

Singh and Jaitley continued consultations with party top leaders including state unit president K S Eswarappa, Ananth Kumar and legislators to find a successor and ensure a smooth leadership change.

Hours before submitting his resignation, an emotional Yeddyurappa said he is leaving the office "happily" without being hurt and saw it as an opportunity to work "freely" to strengthen the party.

His voice choking, Yeddyurappa said at a function that as chief minister he felt that his hands and legs had been tied and he had to discharge his duties from Vidhan Soudha (state secretariat) within "limitations".

Yeddyurappa said there is no need for anybody to feel that he was hurt and declared that he is "quitting happily and with satisfaction".

Vowing to work for strengthening the party in the state, the 68-year-old leader said the "wish of the people is that BJP should continue to be in power for the next 15-20 years".

He added that he would work towards realising the aim of the party win 150 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the next elections.

"What`s the crime I committed? Iron ore wealth should not be looted…," he said.