Friday, March 18, 2011

Majority of MLAs stay away from CM’s meeting, fissures in open

Bangalore, March 18, 2011

The apparent move by the Chief Minister's camp to demonstrate the strength of B S Yeddyurappa appeared to have backfired today as majority of the legislators stayed away from the meeting, bringing to the open fissures in the ruling BJP.

Ministers G Karunakara Reddy, G Janardhana Reddy and Jagadish Shettar, seen to be in the anti-Yeddyurappa block, are among a number of Ministers who skipped the breakfast interaction at the Chief Minister's Race Course residence.

Their action has sent a clear message that all-is-not-well in the BJP's first government in the south which is completing three years in office in May-end.

The party's state unit President K S Eshwarappa and senior party leader H N Ananth Kumar, who seem to have emerged as a rallying point for Mr. Yeddyurappa detractors, were also conspicuous by their absence.

Only around 40 MLAs and Ministers attended the meeting.

They included Yeddyurappa loyalists V S Acharya, C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani, Umesh Katti, B N Bachegowda, V Somanna, Lakshman Savadi, Govind Karjol and Basavaraja Bommai.

The BJP enjoys the support of 107 MLAs in the Assembly, including the Speaker.

A BJP source said a significant number of attendees were not "originally from the party", suggesting that they came from other outfits over a period of time. The meeting is expected to spark a "loyalist-outsider" debate.

The new dissident activity started on a dramatic fashion on Wednesday night with some 50 MLAs and Ministers holding a meeting with Mr. Eshwarappa and Mr. Ananth Kumar airing their grievances against Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Mr. Yeddyurappa's detractors were unhappy particularly about the non-development of their constituencies, the Chief Minister's "dictatorial attitude" and "his habit of taking unilateral decisions" without taking the party into confidence.

After the meeting today, the Chief Minister's camp let it be known that MLAs and Ministers came on their own, and there was no formal meeting.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Yeddyurappa yet again targetted the opposition JDS, particularly former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, charging them with somehow trying to dent his image for one reason or other, unable to digest the BJP rule in the State.

"In this attempt (trying to dent his image), the JDS leaders and Congress leaders have joined hands", he said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said he would soon convene a legislature party meeting to discuss their grievances.

He claimed he had not convened today's meeting.

"All those who visited my residence came on their own.I held discussions with them. I will soon call a meeting of the legislature party and hold consultations in this regard with the state unit president", Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

"My government is strong.I will continue as Chief Minister for the remaining tenure of two years. I will also direct ministers in—charge of various districts to address the grievances of MLAs", Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is facing flak over his style of functioning, said.

Training his guns on JDS, which has repeatedly targeted him with a spate of allegations, Mr. Yeddyurappa said his main aim was to "decimate" that party.

"I will not rest till JDS, which looted the state is wiped out of the state", Mr. Yeddyurappa said and asked Congress to take steps to put its house in order

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