BJP begins process to choose Ktk CMs successor

Bangalore: Seeking to break the logjam on leadership issue in Karnataka, top BJP central leaders on Friday set the ball rolling to choose a successor to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, holding consultations with legislators and MPs.

According to top BJP sources, Yeddyurappa will tender his resignation tomorrow afternoon, keeping his word on Thursday that he would step down on July 31 following the party directive in the wake of his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining scam.

Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu began the consultation process to break the logjam.

Earlier in the day, Yeddyurappa met Jaitley and Singh, who have been exerting pressure on him to quit to pave the way for smooth election of a successor.

Throwing up signs of rebellion, Yeddyurappa had mobilised his loyalist MLAs and ministers who insisted on his continuance, putting the central leadership in a quandry.

Yeddyurappa wants the successor to be of his choice and is insisting on the state unit party president`s post for him, party sources said.

BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar, a known bete noire of Yeddyurappa, is emerging as the top contender for the Chief Minister`s post, while the names of senior minister V S Acharya and party MP Sadananda Gowda is also doing the rounds.

Karnataka BJP president K S Eshwarappa expressed strong displeasure over the criticism of Lokayukta report by Yeddyurappa loyalists — ministers V Somanna and M P Renukacharya, and Lok Sabha member D B Chandre Gowda.

Eshwarappa also stressed that nobody can question the decision of BJP Parliamentary Board, which asked Yeddyurappa to resign.