This time even his party could not defend him. BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Friday stepped in to stop Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa from going ahead with his temple showdown with JD-S leader HD Kumaraswamy, advising him against mixing religion with politics.
“I advised Yeddyurappa that it was not appropriate to use religious places, especially temples, for politics,” Gadkari, who was in Bangalore to attend a function, said. The rap from the party president came at a time when the “truth test” at Dharmasthala had sparked off angry reactions from religious leaders and various sections of society.
Yeddyurappa himself had issued a statement that he would arrive at a final decision on June 26, a day before Kumaraswamy was to undertake the challenge posed by the chief minister to swear before Lord Manjunatha about his charges.
Gadkari said the party will fight out political issues “politically and legally”, making it clear that the BJP, which had stood by the chief minister in the face of the Opposition diatribe, did not approve of Yeddyurappa taking his battle with Kumaraswamy to the temple.
“There are lots of allegations because of political frustrations,” Gadkari said. Kumaraswamy had claimed that he had been approached by Yeddyurappa’s emissary to arrive at a compromise and refrain from releasing “documents” revealing alleged irregularities involving the chief minister’s family.
The leader of Opposition has devoted the last few months to circulating “documents” to show the chief minister used his office to help his family. He even advertised his “truth test” proposal by writing an open letter in local newspapers.
The criticism from the seers had forced the chief minister to have second thoughts. “Because of that great respect for the swamiji’s and elders, I will take a decision on 26th evening,” he had said. The BJP has defended the chief minister, a popular Lingayat leader, against the Opposition charges of corruption and ruled out any change of leadership in Karnataka, the first and only southern state where the party is in power. Economic Times