Haveri (Karnataka): Continuing the attacks on his own partymen, former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Tuesday urged Deputy Chief Minister K S Eswarappa to quit the ministry and concentrate on strengthening the BJP in the state.

"With assembly elections fast approaching, Eswarappa should work towards strengthening the party in the state as he continues to be state unit president," the BJP strongman in Karnataka said.

Eswarappa joined the Jagadish Shettar ministry in July, holding the Revenue and Rural Development portfolios.

"Earlier when Eswarappa quit the ministry to take up the party post, we all hailed his sacrifice. Now he should resign the ministerial post", Yeddyurappa, on a state-wide tour to understand problems faced by people due to drought, said.

Eswarappa opted to take up the party post and resigned as minister from the Yeddyurappa ministry in 2010.

Yeddyurappa who has been throwing barbs at his party and leaders, alleging that there is a conspiracy by some leaders to oust him from BJP, asserted, "I will not leave BJP".

Yeddyurappa in the last two days has been saying he would not remain in the party at the cost of his personal pride.

The Lingayat community leader has been campaigning for the state unit party president, ahead of elections, but the BJP high command has not responded so far.

Earlier on Monday, Yeddyurappa had blamed party leaders for his ouster as Chief Minister in July last year after a Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicted him, and claimed that people's backing for him has only increased since then.

He had also told the public rally near Davangere that BJP had come to power because of people's support and he would again occupy the Chief Minister's seat with their blessings.

(Agencies)

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