Bangalore: With the stern stand adopted by the BJP high command against his intense bid to regain chief ministership, Karnataka strongman B S Yeddyurappa on Monday dropped his plans to turn his 70th birthday celebrations into a show of strength, making it a low-key affair.

Taking a cautious path with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari snubbing him and ruling out replacing Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda three days ago, sulking Yeddyurappa appeared to retreat at least for now contrary to earlier expectations that he would announce his future plans.

He told the gathering that had converged to celebrate his birthday that he had sought the chief minister post as the central leadership had promised to reinstate him six months after he was asked to step down over his indictment by the Lokayukta in its report on illegal mining.

"I did not aspire for Chief Minister's post. Since the Central leadership promised to reinstate me after six months, I visited Delhi (on earlier occasion) seeking to restore my lost chair," Yeddyurappa said.

Ahead of Gadkari's visit to the city for the party's brainstorming session, Yeddyurappa had raised the pitch to put pressure on the party to give him a position by February 27 but the party chief left him in no doubt that he should come clean on the corruption cases before the courts.

However, Yeddyurappa stuck to his stand not to visit Delhi on March 3 to attend the BJP Core committee meeting being held to decide the leadership row in Karnataka.

"I will not go to Delhi asking for Chief Minister's chair... I don't want it".

Yeddyurappa said he would undertake statewide tour shortly to strengthen the party and ruled out quitting the BJP, seeking to put a lid on speculation that he would break away.

"I would not allow BJP to join hands with father-son duo's party of JDS. I have kept Deve Gowda and his party away from power and I will continue to do so," he said in a veiled warning to Sadananda Gowda, whom he suspects of having tacit understanding with the JDS.

Sadananda Gowda and state unit BJP President K S Eshwarappa were among those who greeted Yeddyurappa.    

Speakers at the birthday function asked the BJP to honour the former chief minister with a "position".

(Agencies)