Bangalore/Mumbai: Mounting pressure on BJP leadership for reinstating him as Karnataka Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa on Monday fielded a rebel candidate for Rajya Sabha polls even as party chief Nitin Gadkari said an "appropriate" decision on his demand will be taken soon.

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Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda meanwhile rejected the Yeddyurappa's camp demand on Sunday for convening a legislature party meeting within 48 hours, saying it would be called only after presentation of the budget which he is due to unveil on Wednesday. The budget session of the state Assembly commences on Tuesday.
     
The Yeddyurappa camp dug its heels for the second day on Monday with his loyalist Beluru Gopalakrishna claiming that 59 MLAs loyal to the revolting Karnataka BJP strongman are lodged in a resort on the outskirts of Bangalore and showed no signs of softening its stand in bringing him back as Chief Minister.
     
BJP has a strength of 120 legislators, including the Speaker, in the 224-member Assembly.
     
B J Puttaswamy, who served as Political Secretary to Chief Minister when Yeddyurappa was at the helm and continued in his post under his successor D V Sadananda Gowda, filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha biennial poll.
     
"I have filed nomination as a third candidate (of the BJP", he told reporters in Bangalore. BJP has fielded two official nominees from Karnataka.
     
In the face of the fresh crisis facing BJP, Gadkari said no decision would be made under pressure and asked Yeddyurappa to have patience.
    
"The party will take an appropriate decision (on Yeddyurappa's demand) soon. But BJP will not take any decision under pressure," the BJP president told reporters in Mumbai.
      
Gadkari said the party had indeed assured the rebellious leader that he would be reinstated if cleared of corruption charges by the court.
    
"Things got delayed due to elections and now we will take a decision," he said.
      
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the BJP crisis in Karnataka was not serious and that it would be resolved through a collective decision. He said the party is in touch with Yeddyurappa.
"Dialogue is on between the party and Yeddyurappa. I am also personally in touch with him, its purely an internal issue and will be resolved soon," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said in Ahmedabad.
      
In Bangalore, Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda told reporters he has not received any request from anybody to call for a meeting of the legislature party and that he would convene it only after the budget.
      
MLA B P Harish, a Yeddyurappa loyalist, said a signature campaign is on by some 65 MLAs seeking convening of the legislature party meeting.
    
The MLAs loyal to Yeddyurappa are demanding that he be reappointed chief minister after the High Court quashed the charges against him in the Lokayukta report and also the reference made by the Governor to the Lokayukta to file an FIR and investigate them.
      
B Gopalakrishna, one of the loyalists, said the party's central leadership had assured that Yeddyurappa would be reinstated after he comes clean in an illegal mining case.
      
BJP State President K S Eshwarappa told reporters that the state unit would abide by any decision taken by the central leadership. The party's central leadership was watching the developments, he said, adding, it would decide on Yeddyurappa's "desire".
      
"Wait for 48 hours. It is not a deadline. I am sure the party leadership will take a decision”, he had said, apparently indicating that BJP will have to take a call on his demand for reinstating him as Chief Minister before his successor presents his maiden budget on March 21.
      
Gowda saw nothing wrong in Yeddyurappa loyalists staying in a resort, saying "I can't restrict anybody from going anywhere", adding, the Ministers were doing their work (otherwise).
      
Appearing to be undeterred by moves of the Yeddyurappa camp to oust him, Gowda said "I am continuing to perform my duties", adding, the budget speech would be sent for printing this afternoon.

 

(Agencies)