Yeddyurappa not to quit party for now

Bangalore: In a brief respite for ruling BJP in Karnataka, its rebel leader B S Yeddyurappa today said he has kept in abeyance his decision to resign from the party but remained defiant attacking Chief Minister Sadanananda Gowda and claiming the support of 70 MLAs.

"Bowing to pressure of legislators and following an appeal by senior party leader Arun Jaitely, I have decided to keep in abeyance my decision to quit the party," the 70-year- old party strongman in the state told a crowded press conference.

The former chief minister, who had upped the ante in the past few days after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into illegal mining during his chief ministership, blamed Gowda, party General Secretary H N Anantkumar and state unit chief K S Eswarappa for the present crisis, which had threatened to rock the first ever BJP government in the south.

Yeddyurappa claimed more than 40 MLAs had submitted their resignations to him besides several others who had extended support to him over phone but they would not press with it. Continuing to target Gowda, who was handpicked by him to succeed him, of casting aspersions on him and insulting him and `hobnobbing` with JDS leaders.

Yeddyurappa, whose repeated attempts to regain chief ministership have come to nought, also strongly attacked Anantkumar accusing him of "poisoning the mind" of party veteran leader L K Advani besides making three attempts to dislodge him and become chief minister.

He repeated his demand for convening of the BJP legislature party meeting which had not been held since Gowda became chief minister last August after Yeddyurappa quit following his indictment by the Lokayukta on illegal mining. "I have built the party by my sweat," Yeddyurappa, largely credited for leading the BJP to power, said, adding he had reached a crucial stage wherein he would go back to the people and seek their guidance on the future course of action.