Yeddy gets backing of some MPs and MLAs before BJP meet

Bangalore: As two senior BJP leaders kicked off consultations to pick a new Chief Minister in Karnataka, some party MPs and MLAs on Friday rallied behind B S Yeddyurappa asking its high command to reconsider his resignation.

Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh flew in here today ahead of the BJP legislature party meeting to elect a new leader amid reports that Yeddyurappa is pressing hard for having a say in the choice of his successor.

Yeddyurappa reluctantly agreed to resign yesterday following the party high command`s decision in the wake of his severe indictment by the Lokayukta in the illegal mining scam.

He said he will be officially submitting his resignation to Governor H R Bharadwaj on July 31.

D B Chandre Gowda, an MP said, "Karnataka BJP MPs are of the unanimous opinion that Yeddyurappa should not resign.

He is not an individual. He is an institution as CM. He should have taken the opinion of all elected representatives.

We appeal to the high command to reconsider."

Gowda also said, "The Lokayukta report has lost its sanctity–it leaked."

Housing Minister V Somanna said, "You all know he has said he will resign on 31st. But it is not the right time. Lok Sabha MPs have expressed their opinion. Deve Gowda has said his party won`t survive if Yeddyurappa stays for another two years as CM."

Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy, who has also been indicted along with his brother and minister G Janardhana reddy, slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde saying allegations against him were untrue and demanded a public apology.

Yeddyurappa while breaking his silence after the party asked him to step down said he has agreed to resign as a "disciplined worker" of BJP.

In his first comments after keeping the party on tenterhooks, Yeddyurappa said in a statement he had toiled for 40 years to build the party in Karnataka from scratch and it was his "committed desire" to work for its development in future also.