BJP holds crucial meet on Karnataka

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders from Karnataka, including Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, held a meeting Friday night with party chief Nitin Gadkari and other top functionaries in the wake of the opposition’s campaign for Yeddyurappa’s ouster over an alleged land scam.

The meeting, which began around 10.30 p.m., was held at Gadkari’s house on Ferozeshah Road .

Yeddyurappa flew in to the national capital along with senior members of the party’s state unit in the evening.

According to party sources, though the allegations against the chief minister had created ‘difficulties’ for the party, he may not be replaced.

The sources said that Yeddyruppa continued to be the most popular leader of the party in the state and there was sympathy for him among a section of people who feel he was being targeted by his opponents.

‘Removing him at this stage looks a little adventurous,’ a party leader told IANS.

He said that a formula is likely to be worked out where Yeddyurappa may be asked to be ‘more open and transparent in his financial dealings’ and take steps to hold proper consultations so that the state unit functions as a team.

According to the party leader, Yeddyurappa was a tall leader of the Lingayat community and choosing an alternative to him was not easy. ‘The options for the party for a change of leadership are not easy. The party has to look at the future repercussions of a change,’ he said.

However, he added that if wrongdoings have taken place, these will be difficult to ignore. ‘There is a possibility of some inquiry also,’ he said.

Asked if not taking immediate action against Yeddyruppa would dent the high moral ground the party was trying to take on the 2G spectrum controversy, the leader said there was no comparison between the scam related to improper allotment of radio frequencies and the charges faced by the chief minister.

‘Look at what is the top news in newspapers. The 2G scam is hogging the headlines,’ he said, adding that the chief minister had already taken remedial action.

He the party will take a call on the charges against Yeddyurappa. ‘The party is going to act, but the perception of wrongdoing may differ,’ he said.

The BJP’s core group had met Thursday to discuss the developments in the wake of the opposition offensive seeking the chief minister’s removal.

The core group decided to hear out Yeddyurappa and other senior party leaders and then decide the next course of action.

Senior party leader Arun Jaitley said after the core group meeting that the party has decided to talk to the chief minister and other important state leaders.

The state government Thursday decided to order a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into all land deals in and around Bangalore in the last ten years.

Ahead of his Delhi visit, Yeddyurappa made his two sons, daughter, sister and her son and daughter-in-law surrender the residential and commercial land allotted to them.

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