New Delhi/Bangalore, March 24 (IANS) A group of BJP lawmakers from Karnataka, led by state unit chief K.S. Eshwarappa, Thursday took the battle against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to New Delhi as many ministers for the second time stayed away from a meeting called by the chief minister.
“There are some problems in the state. Ministers and MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) have communicated their problems to me. I am going to Delhi to convey their grievances to the high command,” Eshwarappa told reporters at Bangalore airport.
He is accompanied by at least two party lawmakers while more may join him in New Delhi.
Eshwarappa’s Delhi mission came as Yeddyurappa Thursday faced the embarrassment of around ten ministers staying away from a meeting he called to review the functioning of various ministries.
This is the second time in less than a week that many ministers have ignored his meeting call.
On March 18, only 50 of the 107 BJP MLAs turned up at the meeting Yeddyurappa convened, two days after a group of around 50 BJP lawmakers met Eshwarappa to complain against the chief minister.
Eshwarappa’s Delhi visit also comes two days after Yeddyurappa met BJP president Nitin Gadkari and other party leaders in New Delhi to brief them about the continuing dissidence against him in the state unit.
C.T. Ravi, a legislator from Chikamagalur and a ministerial aspirant who is accompanying Eshwarappa to Delhi, did not mince words when asked about the purpose of the visit.
“The party is important than any individual. We will brief the high command on the problems faced by legislators,” Ravi said.
Among those who stayed away from Yeddyurappa’s Thursday meeting were Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy, his brother and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy and their close associate and Health Minister B. Sriramulu.
The Reddy brothers, rich iron mine owners, had almost brought Yeddyurappa government down in late 2009.
Yeddyurappa is facing allegations of a number of corruption and illegal land deals and five complaints have been filed against him and family members in a Bangalore court.
Yeddyurappa has denied the charges as also any dissidence activity in the party. “We are all united,” he told reporters in Bangalore ahead of the meeting with some of his ministers.