It is official. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was been in the news for allegedly allotting plots to his kin, has been asked by the Bharatiya Janata Party's central leadership to continue in office.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari said in a statement here on Wednesday: “He has denied these allegations and has offered his response, both publicly and to the party leaders. The Chief Minister has also written to me giving his point of view. After my consultations with senior party colleagues and State leaders, the party has decided to continue with Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister.”
Mr. Gadkari made it clear that he expected all party leaders and workers to fall in line and get on with the task of the panchayat and zilla parishad elections that are round the corner.
The central leadership suggested that it was good enough that the Chief Minister had constituted a Commission of Inquiry to probe the allegations of land allotment, and the party could further satisfy itself by probing the matter against him (while he remained in office.)
Reacting to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's remarks on the BJP not sacking Mr. Yeddyurappa following the charges of corruption and nepotism, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said she should confine herself to matters relating to her own party.
The Congress extracted more resignations from its own men as there was more corruption in the Congress, Mr. Jaitley said, implying there was less or no corruption in the BJP, and therefore no resignations. The Congress, on the other hand, was involved in a cover-up in the 2G spectrum allocation issue as was clear from the questionable appointment of a Central Vigilance Commissioner who was facing charges.
On Sunday, almost all members of the BJP's core committee concluded — after studying the files relating to land allotment by Mr. Yeddyurappa — that he was culpable and must resign. By Tuesday, it became clear that if Mr. Yeddyurappa was dismissed he would not desist from pointing the finger at the central leaders who winked at the allegations of corruption and irregularities against the Reddy brothers of Bellary. It was also felt the party could lose its government in Karnataka if even a handful of MLAs walked out with Mr. Yeddyurappa.
The decision was reversed on Tuesday evening. As for Mr. Yeddyurappa's public defiance of the central leadership, he wrote a letter to Mr. Gadkari on Tuesday evening — after the crisis was resolved to his satisfaction — that he was always “committed to the party” and was ready “to continue or quit” in line with any party decision.