//Karnataka BJP on the verge of split

Karnataka BJP on the verge of split

Karnataka BJP seeks action against rebel MP

IANS, 26 May, 2006

Bangalore: The Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday sought disciplinary action against the party's rebel MP Basanagouda Patil Yatnal for revolting against deputy chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

In a damage control exercise, BJP state unit president Sadananada Gowda told reporters here that he had sent a report to the central leadership.

"We have asked the party leadership to seek explanation from Yatnal on his outbursts against Yediyurappa and warn him against airing views in public instead of discussing the issues within the party," Gowda said, while playing down the crisis brewing in the state unit.

Enraged over sustained attacks on him by Yatnal, Lok Sabha MP from Bijapur in north Karnataka, Yediyurappa has threatened to resign from the ministry and as leader of the house.

"Ever since Yatnal lost the race for the state unit president post, he has been making baseless charges against the state leadership and called for the removal of Yediyurappa. This is a clear case of indiscipline," Gowda said after a series of meetings throughout the day to defuse the crisis.

A defiant Yatnal, however, said in Bijapur he would continue to carry on the "oust Yediyurappa and save BJP campaign".

Criticising Yediyurappa's style of functioning, Yatnal said the deputy chief minister was destroying the party base and neglecting the interests of north Karnataka.

"Yediyurappa is treating the party as his personal fiefdom and running the party affairs as a private limited firm. Though it is over three months since the BJP came to power along the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), northern districts consisting of Bombay-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka regions continue to be ignored on the development front and denied representation in the state cabinet," Yetnal alleged.

Party MLC and Kannada cine star Mukhyamantri Chandru also lashed out at Yediyurappa, accusing him of hijacking the party and inducting only his loyalists in the coalition government.

"Money and muscle power played a major role in the first cabinet expansion in February. As a result, first-time legislators like B. Nagaraj Shetty and Sreeraamulu got into the ministry at the expense of senior party leaders, who continue to be marginalised," Chandru lamented.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the bickerings in the BJP would have no impact on the government.

Terming the differences as an internal matter of the coalition partner, he denied receiving any resignation letter from Yediyurappa.

"Our coalition government will complete its full term," Kumaraswamy quipped when reporters asked on the survival of his ministry due to infighting in the BJP.