Yeddyurappa resigns, but crisis in BJP far from over

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Bangalore, 01 August 2011: B.S. Yeddyurappa resigned as Karnataka Chief Minister on Sunday after putting up a stiff resistance for five days, sparking a high political drama. However, his resignation is not expected to bring any comfort to the Bharatiya Janata Party high command, which had directed him to quit. The resignation is set to trigger another problem, with the BJP leadership unlikely to concede any of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s demands — to appoint his nominee as the next Chief Minister and himself as president of the BJP State unit.


Given the continued challenge mounted by Mr. Yeddyurappa and the consistent strength of the legislators in his camp, the two central observers — the former BJP president, Rajnath Singh, and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley — who were in Bangalore for three days to ensure a smooth transition of power left for New Delhi to hold detailed consultations with the party leadership. They had elicited the opinion of the legislators on their choice of leader on Saturday. Handling Mr. Yeddyurappa has turned out to be a tough challenge for the party.


That Mr. Yeddyurappa and his followers, including a large number of legislators and members of Parliament, are in a defiant mood was evident through Sunday, with even the formal meeting Mr. Yeddyurappa had with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to submit his resignation having been marked by an unprecedented drama and considerable delay.


Earlier in the day, addressing a public rally organised by the Balija community to felicitate him, Mr. Yeddyurappa attempted to drive home the point that he was being made an accused, though it was he who had sought to reign in the large-scale illegal mining of iron ore.


It is the first time in the State’s history that an outgoing Chief Minister took out a ‘padayatra’ to the Raj Bhavan, accompanied by a large number of his supporters including legislators, to submit his resignation. The aim of the show of strength was to suggest to the BJP leadership as well as the Governor that Mr. Yeddyurappa continued to command a majority, and that he could not be brushed aside so easily. Interestingly, the mining baron, G. Janardhana Reddy, joined the ‘padayatra’ to indicate that the legislators in his camp too had jumped on the Yeddyurappa bandwagon.


Soon after Mr. Baradwaj received the letter of resignation, the Raj Bhavan issued a notification that the Governor accepted the resignation of the Council of Ministers and Mr. Yeddyurappa was asked to hold charge until an alternative arrangement was put in place. The Governor will also send a report to the Union government on the political developments.


There are indications that the BJP will be in a serious trouble in the coming days, unless the successor is a nominee of Mr. Yeddyurappa (D.V. Sadananda Gowda). The general opinion is that the BJP leadership has to handle the crisis deftly or its legislature party will split in due course. The 13th Assembly has 22 more months to complete its term, and the BJP has a commanding strength of 121 members in the 224-seat House.



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