Karnataka Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and BJP State unit president K.S. Eshwarappa at a meeting in Bangalore
The crisis in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit, with one faction led by the former Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, threatening to pull down the government unless its demand for a change of Chief Minister is met, continued despite the party high command deputing party in-charge of the State Dharmendra Pradhan to talk to both factions in a bid to work out a lasting solution.
Sources in the BJP indicated to The Hindu that all-out efforts were on to find an amicable solution and that the BJP government would complete its full term (May 2013). The resignation of the nine Ministers owing allegiance to Mr. Yeddyurappa is being looked at as only an attempt to draw the attention of the central leadership to the growing discontent within the State unit of the party and not aimed at dissolution of the Assembly.
Given the nature of the political problem, and with the party high command yet to take a serious look into various issues that have been raised, it is unlikely that a solution will emerge over the next week. BJP president Nitin Gadkari is expected to look into the intra-party differences here after Monday. (He is now said to be busy with arrangements for the wedding reception of his son in New Delhi on July 2.)
There has been no clear-cut assurance to either of the two factions, resulting in the Yeddyurappa camp believing that Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda will be compelled to step down and that Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Jagadish Shettar will be asked to take his place. Mr. Gowda believes that there is no real threat to his government and that the party high command will intervene at the right time.
The resignation letters of the nine Ministers submitted to the Chief Minister on Friday remain with Mr. Gowda, although the latter, earlier in the day, called on Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and reportedly spoke to him about the political developments, with particular reference to the resignation of the Ministers.
The Governor, as he himself has indicated, is unlikely to intervene at the present juncture despite Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwar referring to what he has termed the collapse in administration following the deep differences in the BJP.
What, however, has been a noteworthy development on Saturday is the statement of some Ministers associated with the Yeddyurappa camp that they were anxiously awaiting a decision by the party high command, which has categorically stated that no announcement will be made until the presidential polls scheduled for July 19.
In other words, the problem in Karnataka will continue at least for some more time. The BJP legislators are as keen as their counterparts in the other parties that the tenure of the present Assembly should not be cut short owing to differences.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is believed to be remote-controlling the strategy for a quick change of the Chief Minister, remained closeted through the day with some legislators and Ministers in his camp at his official residence. Mr. Gowda too was busy with several official engagements, although he too spent time discussing various political strategies with his associates.
Mr. Shettar has made it clear that he will abide by the decision of the high command although he is quite keen that the incumbent Chief Minister should go and that he should replace him.
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