Choosing next Chief Minister post-polls is one option

Close on the heels of the Bharatiya Janata Party central leadership agreeing to initiate talks with party rebel leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to convince him against quitting, party circles in the State are waiting to know what they may offer the former Chief Minister to placate him.

Sources who were privy to the meeting between the party’s State and central leaders in Delhi on Tuesday said the high command was not in favour of offering him the State president’s post as he is facing cases related to corruption. But it could offer him the post of party’s campaign committee chairman for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

It is not a secret that Mr. Yeddyurappa had set his eyes on the State president’s post ever since he was forced to step down as Chief Minister following his indictment in the Karnataka Lokayukta’s report on illegal mining.

Camp’s belief

His camp believes that in the event of the party returning to power, he would naturally go on to become the next Chief Minister only if he holds the State president’s post at the time of elections. It was the party’s refusal to concede to this demand that he declared he would float a new political outfit on December 10.

Key offer

To address this problem, sources said the central leadership may assure him of keeping open the option of announcing the next Chief Minister (in the event of the BJP returning to power) post-election instead of announcing the Chief Ministerial candidate before the polls, or sticking to the convention of appointing the president as Chief Minister.

While it is still not clear whether legal issues would continue to haunt Mr. Yeddyurappa even if the chief ministerial option is kept open post-poll, party observers felt that it would be a major step forward to placate him.

Talks

Now, all eyes are on the proposed dialogue between the central leaders and Mr. Yeddyurappa, which according to sources may be in a day or two.

During the Delhi consultations, the State leaders told the central leaders that it would be to the party’s advantage to retain Mr. Yeddyurappa in its fold. Though the central leaders agreed to this, they made it clear that efforts in this regard could be made only if he is willing to abide by the party norms.

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