Yeddyurappa drops demand for chief minister post, finally

Bangalore, Feb 27 (IANS) Scam-hit former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Monday dropped his demand for re-instatement, in a relief to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) torn by indiscipline and scandals.

Yeddyurappa virtually blamed the BJP central leaders for his demand, saying they had promised to reinstate him within six months after he was forced to quit in July last year over corruption charges.

"Our central leaders had promised that I will be brought back in four or six months as I had to resign due to unfortunate developments," he said at a function here organised to celebrate his 70th birthday.

"Now, I will not go to Delhi to seek the post," Yeddyurappa said, three days after BJP president Nitin Gadkari ruled out his reinstatement till he is cleared of corruption charges.

Contrary to speculation that he will announce some drastic steps to force the party leaders to make him chief minister again or give the state unit president's post, Yeddyurappa said he will not leave the party.

"There is no question of me leaving the party which I have built over the last 40 years," he said.

However, his further moves will be keenly watched by the party as he said he will tour the state to strengthen the party.

The state is due for assembly elections in April-May 2013 and Yeddyurappa has been angling for a decisive say in party and government affairs since central leaders are opposed to reinstating him.

He is seeking such a role apparently to ensure that his supporters get the maximum number of party tickets for the assembly poll.

Yeddyurappa, the BJP's first chief minister in Karnataka, is facing around a dozen cases of corruption and illegal land deals. He was forced out of office in July last year after the then Lokayukta (ombudsman) N. Santosh Hegde recommended his trial for corruption in an illegal mining scam.

The Supreme Court is also to decide whether to order a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into charges that he had taken kickbacks from two companies to allow them to mine iron ore in the state.