Yeddyurappas move to show strength backfires

Bangalore: An apparent move by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to show his strength in the wake of a brewing fresh discontent against his leadership backfired on Friday when most of the legislators skipped a meeting called by his camp.

Today`s breakfast meeting at Yeddyurappa`s residence came two days after about 50 MLAs and ministers poured out grievances against Yeddyurappa to state party chief K S Eshwarappa and senior leader H N Ananth Kumar.

Apparently countering this, a breakfast meeting was called by the Yeddyurappa camp but only about 40 MLAs and ministers attended, showing BJP as a divided house as its first-ever government in the South completes three years in May-end.

Mining magnates and Ministers G Karunakara Reddy and G Janardhana Reddy and Jagadish Shettar, part of the anti-Yeddyurappa bloc, were among several absentee ministers at the meeting held at Chief Minister`s Race Course residence.

Eshwarappa and Ananth Kumar, who seem to have emerged as a rallying point for Yeddyurappa detractors, were also absent though loyalist ministers were conspicuous by their presence.

But putting up a brave front, the Yeddyurappa camp let it be known that the MLAs and Ministers came on their own, and there was no formal meeting. Yeddyurappa said he had not convened it but would soon call a legislature party meeting to discuss their grievances.

"All those who visited my residence came on their own.

I held discussions with them.I will soon call a meeting of the legislature party and hold consultations in this regard with the state unit president," Yeddyurappa told reporters.

"My government is strong. I will continue as Chief Minister for the remaining tenure of two years, Yeddyurappa, who is under fire over his style of functioning, said.

A significant section of MLAs are unhappy particulary about lack of development in their constituencies, Yeddyurappa`s "dictatorial attitude" and tendency to take unilateral decisions" without taking the party into confidence.

Facing fresh allegations from JDS over a trust run by his family, Yeddyurappa targetted it for attack particularly former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, charging them with trying to tarnish his image, unable to digest the BJP rule.

He accused JDS and Congress of trying to make the Prerana Trust a "big issue".

The Congress and JDS have alleged that the Trust, with Yeddyurappa`s sons among its Trustees, received donations from real estate and mining firms for government favours.

Yeddyurappa warned Congress it would "vanish without address" if it cooperated with JDS while letting it known again he would not rest till Gowda`s party "which looted the state is wiped out of the state."