Bangalore: 10 am: In another dramatic turn of events in Karnataka's political pendulum, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa's supporters withdrew their resignations after Arun Jaitley intervened and assured the rebel group that the party will soon resolve the crisis in the state.
Jaitley spoke to Yeddyurappa and assured him that his demands would be looked into. The Yeddyurappa loyalists will go to Delhi on Monday to meet the BJP central leadership.
Announcing this after a meeting at rebel leader Yeddyurappa's residence, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar said the party high-command has assured that a decision on the leadership issue would be taken in the next two-three days.
"The party's central leaders told the Ministers to withdraw their resignations and come to Delhi for talks so that it creates a conducive atmosphere for taking a good decision", said Shettar, who is Yeddyurappa faction's nominee for Chief Ministership.
Shettar, who belongs to the majority Lingayat community as Yeddyurappa, was one of the nine ministers who had quit.
Following the party leadership's assurance, it was decided to withdraw the resignations, he added.
Basavaraja Bommai, one of the nine Ministers, said the decision to withdraw the resignation was taken "as per advice and guidance" of Yeddyurappa to create a "good atmosphere" and give a free hand to the high-command and take "a free, fair and amicable decision."
He said Shettar and "all the important Ministers" had been invited for talks in Delhi and "in all probability" they would leave for the national capital on Monday afternoon.
Bommai sought to downplay the July five deadline set on Sunday by the Yeddyurappa faction for the high-command to take a decision on the leadership issue.
"Officially we have not issued any deadline. We have not issued any deadline to the high command", he said, expressing the view that "politics is a process" and today it has reached an important stage where there is a lot of sense of confidence in the leadership of Shettar and Yeddyurappa by the party's central leadership.
Shettar and Bommai said BJP President Nitin Gadkari and senior party leader Arun Jaitley were in touch with the Yeddyurappa group in the past two days.
Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda will also meet the BJP Parliamentary party in Delhi on Monday to discuss the crisis plaguing his government.
Earlier on Sunday, Yeddyurappa had stepped up heat on the BJP leadership by setting a July 5 deadline for removing Gowda and replacing him with his nominee Jagadish Shettar. In a show of strength, Yeddyurappa loyalist Jagadish Shettar on Sunday released a list of 52 supporting MLAs.
Two days after after nine ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa quit the Karnataka cabinet, his camp released a list of 52 MLAs who attended Sunday's meeting held at the residence of Shettar and rallied behind him in a show of strength.
Eight Lok Sabha members from the state and at least 15 MLCs also attended the meeting. Raju Gowda, who was among the ministers who resigned, said, "We have unanimously decided to appeal to the high-command to make Shettar the Chief Minister," he said.
"We are confident that a good decision will come by July five. If it does not come (by then), we will meet and take an important decision on July five", he added.
Those attending the meeting authorised Yeddyurappa and Shettar to take a decision on the political developments, saying they will abide by it.
They appealed to the party high-command to call the Legislature Party meeting. Raju Gowda said if it was not done, legislators loyal to Yeddyurappa themselves would convene one.
BJP had sent Dharmendra Pradhan as its emissary in a bid to mollify the rebels.
The nine Yeddyurappa loyalists had quit the Karnataka cabinet on Friday. Two days after after they quit, Yeddyurappa's camp released a list of 52 MLAs who attended Sunday's meeting held at the residence of Shettar and rallied behind him in a show of strength.
(With additional information from PTI)