The Bharatiya Janata Party was set to removeKarnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, soon after state Lokayukta Santosh Hegde submits his report on illegal mining on Wednesday.
Among the leaders being projected as likely successors are Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Jagdish Shettar, state BJP chief KS Eshwarappa and national General Secretary Ananth Kumar.
The party’s central leaders made up its mind to sack Yeddyurappa, so as to be able to give its ongoing anti-corruption campaign against theManmohan Singh government some teeth. Yeddyurappa’s continuance as the chief minister had blunted its anti-corruption tirade, and had given the rival formations enough opportunity to tar the BJP with the taint brush.
The BJP high command is learnt to be waiting for the presentation of theLokayukta’s report to carry out with the formality of removing Yeddyurappa. While he has agreed to step down, he has extracted the promise from the central leadership of having his own man appointed successor.
The outgoing chief minister is expected to exercise his veto power on the claims of Shettar, who, like Yeddyurappa, is a Lingayat, and Ananth Kumar, who is a Brahmin. The latter is being backed by BJP by parliamentary party chairperson LK Advani, but is considered to be too controversial by other sections. If a Brahmin were to be elected as Yeddyurappa’s replacement, state Law Minister Suresh Kumar had a better claim, on account of his squeaky clean image.
Yeddyurappa reiterated on Tuesday that there was no need for him resign, notwithstanding the appearance of his name in the Lokayukta’s report on charges of corruption and nepotism. He countered that it should be Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram who should resign for their ‘role’ in the 2G telecom scam.
The chief minister sought to give an impression that all well was within the government and dwelt on the forthcoming ‘developmental plans’. However, this optimism was not shared by many BJP leaders. “Please do not think that we are not rattled by this Lokayukta report, we have to now think how the party can sustain with or without Yeddyurappa,” said a senior BJP leader. Economic Times