Former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is fighting tooth and nail for political survival in Karnataka. He was forced to step down as CM in 2010 after being accused by Karnataka Lokayukta of corruption. It was alleged that his family members received prime property near Bangalore at inexplicitly low prices. The case was clear indicative that he used his chief ministerial position to buy what was meant to be government land at pity rates and then sold it at 10 times the price to commercial establishments. Yeddyurappa was thus told that he would be reinstated as the CM if the charges against him are washed off.
BJP, which was stating that Yeddyurappa could not be appointed as CM of the State until he comes out clean of all corruption cases, was cornered by its own words when Karnataka High Court dropped all charges against him on March 8th, 2012.
Trouble for BJP in Karnataka arose when the sexagenarian gave the party an ultimatum in February, 2012 demanding that he be reinstated as the CM or be given a senior party post. He has been flexing some muscles for it, but BJP President Nitin Gadkari has made it clear that Chief Minister’s post is ruled out, so instead BJP may consider making Yeddyurappa the State Party President.
Yeddyurappa who does not see eye to eye with the present Karnataka CM, Sadananda Gowda, has threatened to break away from his own party. He claims to have the support of a majority of 120 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly. On March 16th 2012, he gave BJP a 48-hour deadline to reinstate him as the CM of the State. For the next two days, after the declaration of the deadline he has been hosting about 55 MLAs in a resort in Bangalore in a show of strength threatening a revolt against CM Gowda as a means to putting pressure on the BJP top brass. Sources said that he was either waiting for an observer to be sent from Bangalore to Delhi or to be called to Delhi himself.
The rift between Yeddyurappa and Gowda is out in the open. Yeddyurappa’s loyalists have threatened to resign if he was not reinstated as the CM of Karnataka. This has been a clear signal for the BJP high command to call the party president, him and the current CM to come over to Delhi to discuss the political crisis in Karnataka.
The issue at the moment is stuck as the BJP top bureaucrats will have to first come together to a consensus to decide whether they want Yeddyurappa back as CM or not; though BJP is trying to dissolve the crisis, it knows that it cannot run the government in Karnataka without Yeddyurappa support.