Karna dissident BJP min to take back resignation

Bangalore: The crisis in the BJP government in Karnataka appears to have been defused today with nine ministers loyal to B S Yeddyurappa deciding to withdraw their resignation after the central leadership assured them that they would decide on their demand for leadership change in the next two-three days.

The rebel group, which triggered a fresh crisis last week with nine of their ministers quitting to pile up pressure to remove Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, has been invited for talks in New Delhi by the party`s central leadership.

Announcing this after a meeting at rebel leader Yeddyurappa`s residence, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar said the party high-command has assured that a decision on the leadership issue would be taken in the next two-three days.

"The party`s central leaders told the Ministers to withdraw their resignations and come to Delhi for talks so that it creates a conducive atmosphere for taking a good decision", said Shettar, who is Yeddyurappa faction`s nominee for Chief Ministership.

Shettar, who belongs to the majority Lingayat community as Yeddyurappa, was one of the nine ministers who had quit. Following the party leadership`s assurance, it was decided to withdraw the resignations, he added.

Basavaraja Bommai, one of the nine Ministers, said the decision to withdraw the resignation was taken "as per advice and guidance" of Yeddyurappa to create a "good atmosphere" and give a free hand to the high-command and take "a free, fair and amicable decision." He said Shettar and "all the important Ministers" had been invited for talks in Delhi and "in all probability" they would leave for the national capital this afternoon.

Bommai sought to downplay the July five deadline set yesterday by the Yeddyurappa faction for the high-command to take a decision on the leadership issue.

"Officially we have not issued any deadline. We have not issued any deadline to the high command", he said, expressing the view that "politics is a process" and today it has reached an important stage where there is a lot of sense of confidence in the leadership of Shettar and Yeddyurappa by the party`s central leadership.

Shettar and Bommai said BJP President Nitin Gadkari and senior party leader Arun Jaitley were in touch with the Yeddyurappa group in the past two days. Party sources said Jaitley asked Yeddyurappa last night to persuade the Ministers to withdraw their resignation and sent out "positive indications of meeting our (rebels` demand)".