Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party high command has decided to remove B S Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister of Karnataka, the man himself said in Bangalore the replacement for Yeddyurappa can be Yeddyurappa only. The BJP high command had after much deliberations decided to drop B S Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister of Karnataka after accusations of an alleged land scam were made against him by the opposition. Sources in the BJP told rediff.com that the deal is however not as easy as it looks since they will need to convince Yeddyurappa not to lead a rebellion following his ouster as CM.
There was high drama in the Yeddyurappa camp following this decision of the high command. The Chief Minister who had told the high command that if he is asked to leave, he would take the government along with him had planned on taking all his ministers from his group to New Delhi to convince the high command. He was supposed to leave for New Delhi along with his ministers in the afternoon but he was advised to come alone to New Delhi and meet with the high command. Now the CM will be leaving for the capital in the evening. He said in Bangalore that there is no question of replacing him and he will not settle for anything less. I am the only person who can replace me, he told reporters in Bangalore and also added that he enjoyed the support of all the MLAs. He however said that he will go to New Delhi alone and speak with the high command.
Yeddyurappa who had survived two trust votes recently was in the midst of a controversy after allegations that he had denitrified lands to favor his sons and relatives. Yeddyurappa however claims that he has a clean sheet ordered a judicial probe into the matter. A day ago his sons also returned the lands that were denitrified in their favor. The high command is however trying to convince Yeddyurappa to step down since they feel that it would be unfair on their part to take on the UPA government on corruption charges when their Chief Minister himself is facing similar charges. They feel that their fight against the UPA will be weakened if they continue to let yeddyurappa continue as Chief Minister.
The plan: The high command however is aware that it was Yeddyurappa who led the BJP to its first victory in South India and upsetting him would mean compromising on a huge Lingayat vote bank which decides the fate of political parties in Karnataka. When they meet with him in the evening they would give him two options. The first option would be that he choses his successor himself. The second one would be an assurance that he would be re-instated if he comes clean on the issue.
The next choice: While the High Command and the rebels in the BJP favor Lingayat leader, Jagadish Shettar to be the next CM, Yeddyurappa would however not want him as a replacement. The thinking of the high command is that bringing Shettar in would keep the Lingayat vote bank intact since this community was completely behind the BJP in the last election and at no cost would they want to lose that vote bank.
Yeddyurappa is however not in favor of Shettar since he feels that he may usurp his position as the Lingayat leader in the state. If at all Yeddyurappa blinks then he would want law minister Suresh Kumar to fill the void. Yeddyurappa feels that Kumar is not ambitious and would not set up his own base and moreover would let go of the seat if there is a chance of a reinstatement.