New Delhi, Jun 29: The BJP top brass on Thursday sternly told warring factions in party’s Karnataka unit to sink their differences till Presidential poll is over next month.
The party core committee, comprising senior leaders, met here to discuss the Presidential elections scheduled on July 19, did not formally discuss the Karnataka political developments.
At the end of the meeting, chaired by party president Nitin Gadkari and attended by other senior leaders, including L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and Murali Manohar Joshi, one of the participants tried to raise the Karnataka issue.
However, he was told by others that the issue should not be taken up till the completion of the Presidential elections, fearing it would divert the attention.
After the core committee meeting, Ananth Kumar told reporters that the meeting discussed only Presidential poll and Karnataka issue did not come up.
However, Gadkari briefly discussed Karnataka developments with senior leaders Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar and Karnataka’s party general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan.
Though what exactly transpired at the meeting is not known, sources said that leaders have decided to issue stern instruction to state leaders to adhere to the party discipline and not to hold any meetings or issue public statements.
Interestingly, Gowda, who had planned to rush to national capital along with 12 of his trusted ministers in a charted plane on Thursday afternoon, was forced to abort following advice by national leaders.
Dismissing the theory of possible replacement of Gowda immediately, the sources said that “the chief minister pressed panic button and was rushing to Delhi to present his case.
He was not summoned by the party top brass”, the sources added. However, they said that the national leaders are seized with the dissident activities in the state unit and will work out a solution soon.
State unit president K S Eshwarappa, who landed here in the evening, on his way to Uttarkhand tour on Friday, met Dharmendra Pradhan late in the night and explained the current political situation. However, Eshwarappa did not meet Gadkari as the latter left for Nagpur after the meeting.
Speaking to reporters, Eshwarappa said there is no change of guard in the State and Sadananda Gowda will continue as the chief minister. Terming media reports that Gowda will be replaced with Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar or himself, he said “it was mere a speculation and there is no truth in it”.