The stalemate in the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka continued for the fourth day on Thursday with the dissident camp led by three Bellary Ministers-cum-mine owners persisting with their demand for a leadership change.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, however, said he would initiate action against the rebels after getting clearance from the party’s central leadership. “I will not succumb to the pressure tactics of the Bellary Ministers. I have come up the hard way through struggles and I am a born fighter,” he told journalists here.
Patch-up efforts by party national general secretary Arun Jaitley are on; he held talks with leaders of both factions, including Mr. Yeddyurappa and Bellary Ministers G. Karunakara Reddy and B. Sriramulu, till late in the night. While the Yeddyurappa camp claimed that a compromise formula had been worked out, the dissident group denied it and asserted that it would settle for nothing less than a leadership change.
The faction controlled by Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy, his brother and Revenue Minister Karunakara Reddy and Health Minister B. Sriramulu publicly made the demand on the ground that the Chief Minister failed to provide proper relief to the flood-affected. Mr. Yeddyurappa responded by effecting a round of transfer of district officials who were handpicked by the dissident Ministers.