Bangalore, June 28 (IANS) The tussle in Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued Thursday as the central party leadership snubbed the beleaguered Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and a section of legislators huddled together to devise ways to oust him.
The chief minister was left deeply embarrassed as the events unfolded. Gowda planned to go to New Delhi to brief the BJP leadership on the conspiracy to unseat him but was forced to cancel the trip at the last minute, party sources said.
Gowda had advanced by four hours a press meet he had called for 4 p.m. to release a booklet on the achievements of the four-year rule of the BJP. Gowda planned this in view of his decision to rush to Delhi to meet party leaders in the wake of the renewed bid by former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his loyalists to oust him.
Gowda hurriedly finished the press meet at the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in central Bangalore, to go to the airport, 35 km away. However, he was in for a rude shock as he got a message from the central leaders that there was no need to rush to New Delhi.
Apparently upset over the developments, he cancelled a dinner scheduled for Thursday evening for the press corps to celebrate the BJP government's achievements.
Though the BJP completed four years in power May 30, Gowda said he could not release the booklet listing the achievements as code of conduct was in force till the middle of this month in view of elections to the legislative council.
As Gowda talked to the press, several ministers and BJP lawmakers met at Yeddyurappa's residence here to devise ways to step up pressure on the party central leaders to remove Gowda and make Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar the chief minister.
The former chief minister and his supporters are expecting BJP general secretary in-charge of Karnataka affairs Dharmendra Pradhan to arrive here in a day or two for what they are describing as the "final exercise for leadership change".