There was no immediate end in sight to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s troubles in Karnataka despite several rounds of talks held here on Tuesday between senior party leader Sushma Swaraj and one of the Reddy brothers — Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy — who made it clear that he would not return to the State without the party agreeing to replace Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
In fact, some of the optimism displayed on Monday by BJP leaders of an early end to the standoff evaporated on Tuesday when the dissidents seemed to harden their stance.
Mr. Reddy came out of the second round of talks to tell journalists: “We are confident of achieving our goal soon. There is no question of [our] going back on our demand. I will remain in Delhi till I get the high command to agree to replace Mr. Yeddyurappa by a good leader in the interests of the party as well as the State.” Their position had been clearly conveyed to party president Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani and all seniors here.
Mr. Reddy said that on Wednesday a number of MLAs seeking the ouster of Mr. Yeddyurappa would arrive in the capital. He denied that flood-relief works in Karnataka were affected by the stalemate. His elder brother, Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, was fully involved in the relief works and on Tuesday too he held meetings with deputy commissioners through video -conferencing.
The BJP leadership has apparently not been able to satisfy the dissidents that some of their other major demands would be met. These included a rollback of recent transfers of officials in Bellary and asking Rural Development Minister Shobha Karandlaje to keep off Bellary affairs.
CM summoned to Delhi
Mr. Yeddyurappa has been summoned to New Delhi by BJP leadership. “I will go to New Delhi on Wednesday evening. I just now spoke to Venkaiah Naidu. He told me about so many developments in Delhi. I will go and discuss them with national leaders,” he told reporters in Bangalore. Asked whether he was ready for a compromise, he said he would hold discussions with the central leadership and “follow their advice.”