Says his views on new Chief Minister will get full consideration

The BJP central leadership here on Thursday directed Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to submit his resignation “immediately.”

Within hours of the State Lokayukta submitting a report to the State government, indicted him in the mining issue, the 68-year-old Yeddyurappa was summoned here by the party's national leadership and told in clear terms that his continuation in office was untenable.

The Chief Minister, who failed to mobilise the support of even a single national leader, did not wait for a formal endorsement of the decision to oust him by the BJP Parliamentary Board, and rushed back to Bangalore in the early hours of Thursday.

The Board meeting in the morning was attended by L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and M. Venkaiah Naidu. Party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a news conference that their decision was “unanimous.”

To forestall any move by Mr. Yeddyurappa to mount pressure on the national leadership through his supporters in the Legislature Party and the State unit, party president Nitin Gadkari made it a point to rush Mr. Naidu, former party chief and friend of Mr. Yeddyurappa, to Bangalore to prepare the ground for election of a new leader.

On Friday, Mr. Rajnath Singh and Mr. Jaitley would be in Bangalore on behalf of the Parliamentary Board to ensure a smooth transition of power. The only concession the party offered to Mr. Yeddyurappa was that his views on the new Chief Minister would get full consideration.

The delay on the part of Mr. Yeddyurappa in complying with the high command order to step down forthwith was seen by the senior party leaders here more as a bargaining tactic, than signs of defiance.

“He would obviously want his nominee as his successor and ensure that his trusted aides are part of the new government. There is nothing extraordinary in it,” a senior party leader said.

The spate of allegations against the Yeddyurappa regime was proving to be a major impediment for the BJP in pushing its campaign against corruption scandals of the United Progressive Alliance government and the report on illegal mining was the last straw.

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