Gadkari tasks Jaitley to end Karnataka impasse

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 18:00 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) Having skipped the poll campaign in Himachal Pradesh, BJP president Nitin Gadkari Tuesday did not come to the capital to meet party leaders from Karnataka where B.S. Yeddyurappa appears keen on floating a new party.

A statement issued by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that Gadkari had authorised party leaders Arun Jaitley and Dharmendra Pradhan, who is in charge of Karnataka, to review the political situation on his behalf.

"The BJP president has authorised Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition, Rajya Sabha; and Dharmendra Pradhan, party general secretary, to meet leaders of Karnataka and review the political situation in the state on his behalf, as he is busy in consultation with legal experts in Nagpur and Mumbai," the statement said.

Gadkari was Tuesday expected to meet Karnataka leaders, including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, and BJP state unit chief K.S. Eshwarappa.

Sources said the Karnataka BJP leaders met Jaitley and Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

The sources added that Karnataka leaders urged the central leadership to take steps to prevent Yeddyurappa from leaving the party.

Yeddyurappa, a former chief minister of the state who has talked of floating a political party by Dec 10, Tuesday stated he would go ahead with his plans.

BJP leaders' efforts to persuade Yeddyurappa against leaving the party have not yielded results so far. Yeddyurappa had earlier this month refused to meet Jaitley when he visited Bangalore.

Karnataka will go the polls early next year.

Gadkari did not go to poll-bound Himachal Pradesh for a second round of campaigning. Sources close to Gadkari said that the visit had been cancelled to work out legal strategies against a villification campaign by a section of the media.

Gadkari is facing allegations of dubious funding in companies controlled by him.

Gadkari has threatened to file civil and criminal cases against some media houses for "defaming" him and alleged that they were playing into the hands of the Congress.

BJP sources said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was in a wait and watch mode over allegations concerning Gadkari and there were doubts about his getting a second term as BJP president.

Income tax authorities are conducting inquiries at the premises of firms which allegedly invested in the companies controlled by Gadkari.

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