Central leaders may invite State leaders to Delhi

With the Bharatiya Janata Party State unit’s opinion deeply divided on the issue of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s comeback into the party, its central leadership is likely to invite State leaders to talks in New Delhi next week.

“We (the State unit) have sought Central leaders’ advise on the issue. Following this, we are likely to be invited for talks some time next week,” sources in the party said.

Declining to indicate the date, sources only said consultations would be held as early as possible. They also said the discussions would be informal and that the issue would not go before top decision-making bodies such as the Parliamentary Board.

This apart, the BJP wants Mr. Yeddyurappa to show his willingness to come back by conveying his wish to the leadership as was decided by its core committee in Bangalore on Saturday.

Party sources noted that State leaders were divided on Mr. Yeddyurappa’s re-entry. While the anti-Yeddyurappa group were severely opposed to a comeback, some of the neutral leaders reportedly expressed reservations over this, especially in the wake of serious corruption cases against him.

Those seeking his re-entry pointed out that he had managed to garner about 10 per cent vote share in the Assembly elections despite breaking away from the BJP. Besides it was Mr. Yeddyurappa forming the Karnataka Janata Paksha, the former Minister B. Sriramulu breaking away to form the BSR Congress, that together resulted in the erosion of the BJP’s vote share in the Assembly elections, they said. Adding up the vote share of the three parties would help take the fight to the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections.

Referring to the division of opinion, a source said: “Such a division was not unexpected as Mr. Yeddyurappa’s issue is a complex one. We have not rejected the proposal. We will take it forward. But some leaders have genuine concerns on the impact of his return on the party. In this background, we have sought the Central leaders’ intervention. Perhaps there could be more clarity on the issue by next week when the pros and cons of his re-entry are thrashed out between Centre and State leaders.”