Karnataka crisis subsides, nine ministers withdraw resignations (Third Lead)
New Delhi/Bangalore, July 2 (IANS) The crisis in Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) subsided Monday with nine ministers withdrawing their resignation after an assurance from party to considertheir demand to replace Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
Announcing the withdrawal, the nine, followers of former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, said in Bangalore that the party national leaders had promised to consider their demand "in two or three days".
The Yeddyurappa loyalists want Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar, who was among the nine to quit Friday, to be made chief minister.
The two warring factions, led by Gowda and Shettar, are now in New Delhi for talks with the BJP leadership, would begin Tuesday as party chief Nitin Gadkari is busy Monday with the wedding reception of his son.
Gowda told reporters on reaching New Delhi that he was "a disciplined soldier of the party and will abide by the decision of the party".
He also subtly told the party to be cautious on bowing to the demand to replace him.
"I have given a corruption-free and scandal-free government in the last 11 months. This is what my party wants and am confident that the party will support it," Gowda said to queries whether he would remain in office.
BJP general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs Dharmendra Pradhan, who had come to Bangalore Saturday to defuse the crisis, said in New Delhi that "the ministers who had resigned, after discussions with the highcommand, have withdrawn their resignations unconditionally".
He added that "appropriate action" would be taken at the "appropriate time".
"We are heading towards a political solution in Karnataka. The chief minister has also expressed his happiness that the ministers have joined back," he told reporters.
The central leadership, including Gadkari, has been opposed to the demand that Gowda be removed as chief minister.
The crisis, party insiders said, was averted after senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley talked to the rebel ministers.
Besides Shettar the ministers who had submitted their resignations were Basavaraj Bommai (water resources), C.M. Udasi (public works), Murugesh Nirani (industries), V. Somanna (housing), Umesh Katti (agriculture), R. Belamagi (libraries and animal husbandry), Raju Gowda (small scale industries), and M.P. Renukacharya (excise).
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