One section within BJP reportedly wants him expelled from party
Intra-party rivalry in the Bharatiya Janata Party, at the national and State levels, is expected to touch a new high with the former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa surrendering before the Special Lokayukta Court here, which had served an arrest warrant against him earlier in the day.
Clear divisions have emerged in the BJP with Mr. Yeddyurappa being remanded in judicial custody, with one section voicing the view that the party should expel him, despite his immense contribution to the growth of the party, and the section loyal to the former Chief Minister maintaining that he remains their leader at any cost, and they would stand by him in his hour of trial. In other words, a split in the State unit of the BJP is a distinct possibility if any action is sought to be taken against him.
If the resignation of Mr. Yeddyurappa as the first ever Chief Minister of a BJP government in south India was marked by high drama and suspense, his surrender before the court on Saturday was also packed with surprise elements. While his loyalists were present in strength at his official residence throughout the forenoon, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who was closeted with several Ministers, voiced concern over the developments and said the detractors would soon be exposed.
Although the matter is sub judice (as the matter is being heard in court), it is the string of cases filed by a private complainant, and the sanction for prosecution that he received from the Governor, that has resulted in all the political friction, the kind of which has never been witnessed in Karnataka. Mr. Yeddyurappa is the first political leader who held the post of Karnataka Chief Minister to be remanded in judicial custody. None of his 19 predecessors, including the late Ramakrishna Hegde who faced charges of irregularities in the arrack bottling case, faced such action.
Sources privy to the developments within the party said while the serious differences within the Karnataka unit of the BJP, in particular the legislature wing of the party, continue, the developments in the corruption case made out against Mr. Yeddyurappa, leading to him being remanded in custody, to begin with, for a week (till October 22) has led to the new demand that Mr. Yeddyurappa be expelled from the primary membership of the party.
BJP sources told The Hindu that the demand for expulsion had come from some opponents of the former Chief Minister at the national level, some of whom also hail from the State. The former Chief Minister had attracted the wrath of several important party functionaries both at the State and national levels.