Yeddyurappa holds consultations with loyalists

Bangalore: Facing fresh trouble after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into his alleged role in illegal mining, former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today held consultations with his loyalists on his political future. Legislators and ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa attended a breakfast meeting at his residence here with sources close to him saying some leaders discussed the "options" before them.

"Some of the MLAs pressed Yeddyurappa to announce his future plans without any delay. The meeting assailed the attitude of BJP leaders towards their leader as none of the top brass spoke to Yeddyurappa and gave him words of comfort after the Supreme Court ordered CBI probe into illegal mining", a leader requesting anonymity said.

Yeddyurappa`s supporters are upset as even Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and state Party chief K S Eshwarappa did not speak to their leader after the apex court order. Gowda shared dais with Yeddyurappa yesterday at a public function held in Nanjangud near Mysore, but both hardly spoke to each other. However, reacting to the Supreme Court order, Gowda had hoped that Yeddyurappa would come clean from the CBI probe.

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered CBI probe against Yeddyurappa for "serious illegalities" in mining activities in which he allegedly "misused his public office" for monetary benefits by extending favours to mining barons and corporates. A section of Yeddyurappa supporters have been asking him to urge the party high command to direct Gowda to call an emergent meeting of the legislature party to discuss party affairs and other issues.

Excise Minister M P Renukacharya, a hardcore supporter of Yeddyurappa, told reporters that about 30-odd legislators including ministers met Yeddyurappa and expressed their support to the Lingayat strongman. "Yeddyurappa is our leader and we will always remain loyal to him even if he is not holding an important position in the party," he said. Renukacharya, however, said they had faith in Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda`s leadership.

But Renukacharya expressed dismay at Gowda shooting off a letter to BJP President Nitin Gadkari alleging that he was indulging in anti-party activities. "We are loyal workers of the BJP and are working as ministers under Gowda`s leadership. If Gowda does not have confidence in us, how can we work?" he asked. Renukacharya also expressed confidence that Yeddyurappa would come clean on the allegations of corruption levelled against him and his family. He, however, ruled out Yeddyurappa faction floating a new party.