State unit leaves decision to central leaders

The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be in no hurry to take action against rebel legislators who attended the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) rally in Haveri on December 9.

The core committee of the State BJP on Wednesday decided to consult the party’s central leaders in a day or two on the action to be taken against the 14 MLAs and six MLCs who attended the rally at which the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa took over the reins of the KJP.

The core committee met here to mainly discuss the rebellion in the State unit, with many of its legislators openly supporting Mr. Yeddyurappa. They had challenged the BJP to take action against them.

The committee meeting was attended by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Ministers K.S. Eshwarappa and R. Ashok, the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, State organising secretary Santosh, and Nalin Kumar Kateel and Pralhad Joshi, MPs.

Mr. Eshwarappa, who is also the State BJP president, after a two-hour meeting at the Circuit House, told reporters that the central leadership would decide on the action to be taken against the rebel legislators within the next three days.

“We will decide in consultation with the central leadership whether to serve show-cause notice or take any other action against the legislators.” The BJP Parliamentary Board would meet in Delhi on Thursday and the issue was expected to be discussed in the meeting, he said. The core committee would send a report on the matter to the central leadership seeking action against the rebel legislators. “It is not possible for a national party like the BJP to take immediate decisions. We have a central leadership and cannot take such decisions at the State level,” he said.

Asked whether the party was delaying action against the legislators to save the party’s government in the State, Mr. Eshwarappa said that the party would not have dismissed Cooperation Minister B.J. Puttaswamy if that was the intention. “We have not spared even Tumkur MP G.S. Basavaraju or the former Union Minister V. Dhananjay Kumar.” To a question on a possible Cabinet reshuffle, Mr. Eshwarappa said the core committee did not discuss the topic.

Report sought

New Delhi Special Correspondent writes:

The BJP central core committee met in Delhi on Wednesday and decided to ask its Karnataka unit to file a report within two days on legislators attending the KJP rally, violating the party diktat. The central leadership will take a call on the disciplinary action to be initiated against them based on the report.