Bangalore, Dec 12 (IANS) Arch rivals India and Pakistan will clash in the T20 World Cup for the sightless Thursday as both teams cruised through semi-finals Wednesday, beating Sri Lanka and England respectively at the Central College ground here.
India piled up 318 runs for eight wickets in the stipulated 20 overs and restricted the Lankans to 195 for six wickets in their 20 overs to storm into the final by 123 runs.
In the other semi-final, Pakistan surpassed the modest target (182) by hitting 184 for loss of one wicket in just 12.2 overs after restricting England to 181 runs for nine wickets in their 20 overs.
Opting to bat first after captain Shekar Naik won the toss, India made a breezy start posting 78 runs in the first three overs as vice-captain Ajay Kumar Reddy (partially blind) carried his brilliant form to hit 134 off 55 balls, while Ketan Patel (totally blind) and Ganesh Bushara (partially blind) contributed valuable runs to make 54 in 31 balls and 59 not out in 25 balls.
Though in-form Prakash Jayaramaiah (partial vision) was out plumb while attempting an outlandish drive after posting 27 in eight balls with flurry of shots, the Indian batsmen accelerated the run rate, thanks to sloppy fielding and dropped catches in the outfield by the beleaguered Sri Lankans.
Chasing an imposing target of 319 runs, the Sri Lankans made a hash of their batting by losing wickets regularly and trailing behind in the run rate even in the slog overs.
Deshapriya (partial vision) waged a lonely battle for the Sri Lankans with an unbeaten 111 off 63 balls.
Reddy was adjudged man of the match for his century and two wickets for 23 runs.
Legendary former Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, who flew in to watch his team face off against the Indians said, blind cricket was a treat to watch the high commitment levels of the players, which is even more than that of many regular cricket players.
In the other exciting semis, England messed up its campaign and were outplayed by a surcharged Pakistan, whose in-form Mohammad Akram (partial vision) hammered 103 not out in 42 balls to reach the target in the 13th over, as he was ably assisted by Aamir Ishfaq (totally blind) with 36 not out in 22 balls and Aleem Murtaza (partially blind) scoring 29 in nine balls.
Pakistan won the semis by nine wickets.
Akram was declared man of the match.
Emotions ran high in a surcharged atmosphere in anticipation of an Indo-Pak final Thursday.
While the Pakistan contingent, fresh from emphatic win over England in the other semis, rent the ground with cries of “Pakistan Zindabad”, Indian fans responded with frenzy catch phrases “Jeetega bhai Jeetega, World Cup Jeetega!”
With both India and Pakistan in nick en route to the title clash, the stage is set for a cracker of a contest in the finale.
The players are classified into three categories – totally blind as B1, partially blind as B2 and with partial vision B3. Each team of 11 members comprises four blind (B1), three partially blind (B2) and four with partial vision (B3). The wicketkeeper is a B3 player.
Interestingly, for every run scored by the blind, one more is added. As a result, a hit to the boundary will be counted as eight and a sixer as 12.
Bangalore, Dec 12 (IANS) Over 7,000 tickets for the first India-Pakistan T20 tie at Chinnaswamy stadium here Dec 25 will be sold online from Thursday, former Test cricketer and Karnataka State Cricket Stadium (KSCA) secretary Javagal Srinath said.
Maximum tickets for public – 7,187 – will be sold online at www.bookmyshow.com for stands across the stadium at different fares, while 5,500 tickets for gallery stands, priced at Rs.250, will be sold Dec 21 through counters at the stadium,” Srinath told reporters.
Online tickets are priced between Rs.1,600-15,000, with those for corporates priced at Rs.12,500 and executive lounges at Rs.6,000, and terrace seats at Rs.9,000.
Though the stadium in the city centre facing the famous Cubbon Park boasts of 35,533-seat capacity, only 12,687 seats are available to the general public, as the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) has to provide the remaining seats to various associations, clubs, boards and VIPs.
“Of the total seats, 2,800 are reserved for KSCA members, 3,600 for cricket clubs, 3,400 for other cricket associations, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) 2,673, corporates 3,705, complimentary tickets 6,168 and the remaining for our staff and officials,” Srinath said.
Tickets for about 500 fans from Pakistan will be issued through the PCB.
Police will provide security. “As per the guidelines, the stadium will be handed over to the city police for sanitising and making fool-proof security arrangements…movement of fans will be regulated and restricted,” KSCA president and former ace leggie Anil Kumble said.
The match between the arch rivals will be played in the night from 7 p.m. onwards on Christmas day.
A four-member Pakistan official team visited Bangalore Dec 3 to inspect security and other arrangements being made for their team and their fans in the city.
About 500 Pakistani fans have been given visa to witness the two T20 matches and three one-dayers between the two countries. In addition, high profile persons, including former Pakistan players, will also be visiting India as PCB guests to watch the matches.
The second T20 will be played at Ahmedabad in Gujarat Dec 27 and the three one-dayers in Chennai Dec 30, Kolkata Jan 3 and New Delhi Jan 6.
Bangalore, Dec 10 (IANS) Former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, his two sons, son-in-law and nine others were Monday granted bail by a court here in a mining kickback case.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge M.C. Biradar directed the accused to furnish a personal bond of Rs.200,000 each, not to influence prosecution witnesses, surrender their passports and not to leave the country without permission.
The court would next hear the case Jan 29, 2013.
Yeddyurappa, his sons B.Y. Raghavendra, a BJP Lok Sabha member from Shimoga which is about 280 km from here, and B.Y. Vijayendra, son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar and former BJP minister Krishnaiah Shetty, who is also an accused in the case, were present in the court.
Yeddyurappa, his two sons, son-in-law and others are accused of taking kickbacks from mining companies in return for favours.
It is on this score that Yeddyurappa was forced to give up the chief minister’s post in July last year.
Bangalore, Dec 10 (IANS) A research paper by an Indian physicist has for the first time cast doubts on some of the fundamental hypotheses of the standard Big Bang model for the origin of the universe.
Abhas Mitra is working in the Astrophysics Sciences Division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai. His paper that raises several questions for mainstream cosmologists was published earlier this month in the online issue of “Scientific Reports”, a new peer-reviewed journal of the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.
The Big Bang model claims that the universe suddenly erupted out of nothingness in an infinitely powerful explosion some 13.7 billion years ago. Mitra’s paper raises doubts over physical realization of the key concepts like ‘Dark Energy and ‘Cosmic Inflation’ that are the hallmarks of mainstream cosmology.
In his paper, Mitra argues that that Cosmological Constant, which is the fundamental ingredient behind such concepts like Dark Energy and Cosmic Inflation, should actually be non-existent or zero and cannot have a finite value as believed now.
Modern Big Bang cosmology has in its foundation a feature called “inflation”. As per this inflationary Big Bang theory, the universe went through a momentary phase of an exponential expansion almost immediately after its birth. It was hypothesized that the new-born universe developed a positive Cosmological Constant – representing a fairly large repulsive vacuum energy – that gave rise to this runaway expansion. Further, from 1998 onwards, the mainstream cosmology believes that the universe is undergoing an “accelerated” expansion – the extra push coming from a “repulsive” Cosmological Constant that is termed Dark Energy.
Historically, such an exponential expansion is known as a “de-Sitter phase” named after the famous Dutch physicist Williem de-Sitter (1872-1934). But the supposed de-Sitter expansion or inflation has a “very perplexing” aspect, says Mitra.
“While some observers do perceive the explosion, there are other observers who do not at all see the explosion. On the other hand, in physics, and in Einstein’s General Relativity, a genuine physical effect must be perceived by all,” Mitrra told IANS.
The bottom line of Mitra’s highly mathematical paper is that a quantity called “Expansion Scalar” must objectively decide whether there is any genuine expansion or not. “However, the fact that the de-Sitter phase appears at a standstill to some observers means that this is inherently zero, and which in turn implies that Gravitational Constant is actually zero,” Mitra said.
Therefore, according to the BARC physicist, the de-Sitter explosion picture obtained by assuming a finite Gravitational Constant is only a “mathematical mirage”.
Mitra argues that, accordingly, the Dark Energy and apparent acceleration of the cosmos too could be “fictitious” as these concepts were introduced to explain “a complex inhomogeneous universe in terms of an over-simplified Big Bang model.”
Interestingly, he says that the so-called “String Theory”, which purports to unify fundamental interactions like electromagnetic and nuclear forces with gravity, also invokes an attractive (instead of repulsive) “anti-de-Sitter” feature that is “basically a profound conjecture”.
“I am especially happy that this work has fundamental importance in not only in cosmology but also in physics,” Mitra said. His 2009 paper published in the Journal of Mathematical Physics claimed to have proven that the mathematical Black Holes have zero mass, implying that the “Black Hole Candidates” observed by astronomers must be quasi-Black Holes rather than true Black Holes.
(K.S. Jayaraman can be contacted at email@example.com)
Bangalore, Dec 9 (IANS) Even as Indian regulars reeled under a humiliating defeat from England in the Kolkata Test, their visually challenged counterparts crushed Bangladesh Sunday by 10 wickets in a league tie of the T20 World Cup for blind here.
The charged-up Indian team took just 11 balls (1.5 overs) to reach the low target of 58 runs for no loss after Bangladesh collapsed at 57 for nine wickets in the stipulated 20 overs at the Central College grounds in the city centre.
As the Indian bowlers ran through the Bangladeshi team to its lowest ever total in the tournament, their batters did not have enough runs on the board to chase or demonstrate their prowess in the middle in the one-sided match.
Indian vice-captain Ajay Kumar Reddy (partially blind) was declared man of the match for scalping four wickets in four overs for eight runs.
In another match at the same ground, Australia thrashed South Africa by eight wickets after restricting the Proteas to a modest 185 runs for nine wickets in 20 overs and racing to the target in 14 overs for the loss of two wickets.
Aussie Lindsay Heaven (partially blind) was adjudged man of the match for his cameo 83 in 44 balls and registering a 171-run partnership with Matt McCarthy (partially blind) who hit 56 in 38 balls.
In the two games played at the Aditya Birla sports ground on the city’s outskirts, Pakistan maintained its winning streak, taming Sri Lanka by nine wickets after restricting the latter to 147 for nine wickets in 20 overs and reaching the target of 148 by losing just one wicket in 9.1 overs.
Pakistan openers Ali Murtaza (partially blind) and Mohammad Zafar (totally blind) scored 48 each in 22 and 18 balls respectively, while its bowler Anees Javed (partially blind) was declared man of the match for three wickets.
In the last game of the day, minnows Nepal again lost the match to West Indies without losing a wicket as the Caribbeans restricted the Himalayan kingdom to 164 for no loss in 18 overs after setting an imposing target of 237 for three wickets in 18 overs.
Two overs were reduced for both the teams due to dew on the pitch. Windies Gregory Stewart (partially blind) was man of the match for his fine 87 in 45 balls.
India take on South Africa Monday in the last group tie, while West Indies will play against England, Pakistan with Nepal and Sri Lanka against Bangladesh.
Bangalore, Dec 9 (IANS) Family members of Indian nurse Jacintha Saldhana, who fell prey to a hoax call from Australian radio jockeys about the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy, are too shocked to react to her mysterious death in London Friday as her husband did not tell them it was suicide.
“We were too shocked to hear that Jacintha, 46, was no more from her husband (Benedict Barboza). He did not tell us that she committed suicide and hung up, as he was trying to come to terms with the tragedy,” Barboza’s elder sister Irene D’Souza told IANS from Shirva, about 400 km from Bangalore in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district.
As Barboza rushed to London from Bristol to collect Saldhana’s body, D’Souza learnt about the incident through the media and news channels since she could not contact her brother again.
“We came to know about it (suicide) only through media and news channels on TV. Our mother (Carmine Barboza, 82,) is inconsolable. It is hard to believe Jacintha could do it as she was not type who would take life like that,” D’Souza said in anguish.
Saldhana, mother of two children (a son and daughter) was found unconscious Friday morning in the quarters of King Edward VII Hospital in central London where she was working as a senior nurse, and was pronounced dead when rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
“We didn’t even know that Jacintha got unwittingly involved in the hoax call though we read something about it in newspapers last week that there was a prank call to the hospital from a radio station in Australia, whose jockeys tried to know about the princess’ (Kate Middleton) health by imitating the voice of the queen (Elizabeth) and prince (Charles),” Saldhana’s nephew said, but declined to be named.
As the bereaved family is planning to perform Saldhana’s last rites in the home town, they are waiting for Barboza to complete the formalities in London to bring the body here this week after police investigation into the suspected suicide.
“Benedict wants to bring Jacintha’s body to India for burial at Shirva. We are waiting to know when he would be able to come so that all other family members could join us for prayers and last rites,” a grieving D’Souza said.
Barboza’s four sisters Irene, Janet, Severine and Mary reside at Shirva and Mangalore.
Saldhana, who graduated from Father Muller College of Nursing in Mangalore in mid-eighties, first worked in the Gulf for a few years and went to London after marriage 15 years ago to live with Barboza, an accountant at a supermarket at Bristol, 190 km from London.
When the jockeys (Mel Greig and Michael Christian) from Sydney radio station called the hospital early Dec 4, Jacintha picked the call in the absence of the receptionist at that time (5.30 a.m.) and transferred it to another duty nurse who briefed them on the health condition of the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate), who was admitted to the royal hospital Dec 3 after she complained of acute morning sickness.
Though the Duchess was discharged Dec 6, news about the hoax call shocked the royal family and caused outrage the world over, especially in the British media. The two radio jockeys were later sacked.
Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) Pakistan captain Zeeshan Abbasi, who is partially blind and leading his visually challenged team in the T20 World Cup for blind tournament here, accidentally sipped phenyl Saturday from a pet bottle thinking it was mineral water. He is out of danger now.
The freak incident came to light when Abbasi was rushed to a private hospital after he complained of sore throat while having breakfast in a star hotel where the team is staying.
“Abbasi is out of danger. He was treated as an emergency case after he was diagnosed with sore throat due to accidental consumption of white liquid soap (phenyl),” Ramaiah hospital president Naresh Shetty told reporters later.
As a precautionary measure, an endoscopy was done on Abbasi to rule out gastric erosion and all clinical tests showed he was normal subsequently.
“We discharged Abbasi in the evening after keeping in observation for four hours and finding him normal,” Shetty said.
According to the hotel management, Abbasi mistook the phenyl bottle to be mineral water, when the house-keeping staff was cleaning the dining room when the team was having breakfast.
“Abbasi has fully recovered and returned to the hotel where the teams are staying,” the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), which is the host and primary organiser of the tournament, said in a statement late Saturday.
Pakistan Cricket Blind Council chairman and World Cricket Blind Council president Syed Sultan Shah said the team management was satisfied with the investigation into the incident, which blamed the hotel staff for inadvertently placing the phenyl bottle in the wrong place.
“In the interest of cricket and better ties between the two countries, we have decided to move on and focus on winning the World Cup,” Shah said in the statement.
Pakistan take on Sri Lanka Sunday after thrashing arch rival India by eight wickets in a league tie Friday.
“The incident happened by oversight. Every effort is being made to take care of the participating teams from nine countries playing in the tournament,” Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled secretary G.K. Mahantesh.
Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) A defiant India, which lost to Pakistan Friday, went on the rampage Saturday to demolish minnows Nepal by a huge margin of 249 runs in the T20 World Cup league tie.
Winning the toss and electing to bat at the Aditya Global Sports ground on the city outskirts, Indian batters Ajay Kumar Reddy (partially blind) and Hanuman Pooniya (partial vision) registered a record triple century partnership – 317 runs off 111 balls and put up a whopping 342 for three wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.
Chasing the imposing target of 343, the Nepal was bundled for a paltry 93 in 14.3 overs, with Indian bowler Dilip Munde (partially blind) snapping two wickets for eight runs in three overs.
Reddy made 128 in 43 balls with 21 hits to the boundary and a six, while Pooniya hit a scintillating 120 off 50 balls, including 25 fours. Later, Subash Bhoya (totally blind) chipped in with a hurricane 58 off 18 deliveries.
“We are peaking at the right time for the semis and final (Dec 12-13) with the batsmen in good nick, Reddy, Pooniya and Prakash Jayaramaiah (partially blind),” Indian captain Shekar Naik told reporters after the match.
Pooniya was declared man of the match.
India is expected to have another easy outing Sunday against Bangladesh, who are struggling to strike form in the tournament.
In the second league tie, unstoppable Pakistan continued its winning vein crushing Bangladesh by 10 wickets after restricting it to 91 runs for nine wickets in the stipulated 20 overs and crossing the easy target to post 93 for no loss in 4.1 overs.
Made to bat first after losing the toss, Bangladesh struggled to find flanks to score as eight of its batsmen were run outs by brilliant fielding and accurate throws by upbeat Pakistanis.
Chasing the target, Pakistan openers Ali Murtaza (partial blind) and Mohammad Ayyaz (totally blind) rattled the Bangladesh bowlers to hit 56 off 21 balls and 22 off just eight balls and wrap up the match in the first ball of the fifth over. Ayyaz was adjudged man of the match.
Pakistan was led by vice-captain Mohammad Jameel (partial vision) as skipper Zeeshan Abbasi was indisposed.
Pakistan is the only team to have an all-win record in the tournament while Bangladesh is yet to register a win.
In the other two matches played at the Central College grounds in the city centre, West Indies mauled South Africa to win by 10 wickets and England overcame Australia by three wickets in a close encounter.
After restricting Proteas to 193 runs for six wickets in 20 overs, Windies raced to the target of 194 in 14.3 overs, with its openers Halden Forde (partial vision) hitting 105 in 57 balls and Gregory Steward (partially blind) scoring 59 in 37 balls. Forde was declared man of the match.
In an exciting tie that went down to the wires, England reached the target of 274 runs in the 20th over despite losing seven wickets after stopping the Aussies to 273 for five wickets in 20 overs, which included a dashing 127 by Matt Horsey (partial vision) in 57 balls.
Aussie Matt Dean (partially blind) was declared man of the match for his splendid unbeaten 95 in 44 balls.
Of the six games they played in the tournament so far, both the teams share the honours of winning three and losing three.
Australia take on South Africa, while Pakistan will play Sri Lanka and West Indies against Nepal Sunday.
Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) Wipro Ltd acquired Singapore-based L.D. Waxson Group, a consumer brand firm for $144 million (Rs.78 crore) in an all cash deal, the company said Saturday.
“The acquisition of Waxson will give us leadership in the facial skincare market in Malaysia and Singapore, expand its presence in China and enhance its market position in other Asian markets,” Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting president Vineet Agarwal said in a statement here.
The transaction is expected to be closed in the next two months.
The $68-million Waxson is a leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm with skin care brands Bio-essence and Ginvera and healthcare brand Ebene.
The company has manufacturing units in China and Malaysia and has strong presence also in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.
“With a track record of successful acquisitions, including Unza and Yardley, we see Waxson as a strategic fit. The transaction will helps us to consolidate our facial skincare business in Malaysia to a dominant position and move us to market leadership in Singapore as well,” Agarwal said.
Waxson chairman Tor Lam Huat said Bio-essence’s success was driven by providing skin care products that truly perform, with visible results for consumers.
“We are confident that with Wipro’s marketing expertise and extensive distribution network, we will be able take Bio-essence, Ginvera and other brands to new heights,” Huat pointed out.
Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) Karnataka Cooperation Minister B.J. Puttaswamy was sacked Saturday for supporting B.S. Yeddyurappa, the former chief minister who has quit the ruling BJP to form his own party.
Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) With the Karnataka assembly polls less than six months away, political parties in the state are busy deciding who will be their main opposition at the hustings!
The dubious distinction for creating this somewhat bizarre situation goes to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The party made a hash of handling the rebellion, first of the moneyed mining barons, the Reddy brothers, and later of its first chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
This has given birth to two parties – the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) led by Yeddyurappa, who quit the BJP Nov 30, and the Badavara, Shramikara, Raithara (poor people, workers and farmers) Congress or BSR Congress formed by former BJP minister and Reddy loyalist B. Sriramulu.
Of the two new parties, not much weightage is being given to the BSR Congress as, after its launch with a lot of fanfare, it is in the doldrums because the most vocal of the Reddy brothers and a former BJP minister, Gali Janardhana Reddy, is behind bars in Hyderabad in connection with an illegal mining case in Andhra Pradesh.
However Yeddyurappa, though facing over a dozen cases of corruption and illegal land deals – he was forced to quit as chief minister July last year over mining bribery charges – is a different ball game.
His KJP may not win a significant number of seats in the coming polls but the general expectation is that it will definitely spoil the chances of the BJP retaining the power it got for the first time in southern India in May 2008.
The 69-year-old Yeddyurappa, credited with leading the BJP to power in 2008, is missing no chance to position himself and the KJP – though more of himself and less of the KJP – as the main opposition to his former party.
To the amusement of the state people and glee of the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), he has been going round claiming that Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar is heading a coalition of the BJP and the KJP.
He started the claim even before he resigned from the BJP, pushing the state party leaders to rush to assert that Shettar is heading a BJP government and not a coalition.
This attempt by Yeddyurappa, cleverly aimed at hitting the BJP the most for “betrayal” of its promise to make him the state party chief soon after he quit as chief minister, has forced his former party as well as the Congress and the JDS to join the debate on who their real opposition is at the next assembly polls.
Shettar, a soft-spoken person otherwise, has also been pushed to become aggressive to counter Yeddyurappa.
He has started asserting that the Congress is the main opposition.
The Congress, though hopeful of cashing in on the BJP’s troubles to regain power it virtually lost in 2004 – it headed a short-lived coalition with the JD-S between 2004 and 2006 – is taking the position that the BJP is the main opposition. In its view, Yeddyurappa will damage the BJP’s prospects and will not hurt its chances.
The JD-S is projecting itself as the best alternative to the two national parties and is trying to embarrass the Congress by claiming that Yeddyurappa is backed by it, an allegation stoutly denied by the party.
For the hapless Karnataka voter, it would be some free entertainment as the parties vying for power also fight over who their main opposition in the battle of the ballot is.
(V.S. Karnic can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bangalore, Dec 8 (IANS) The BJP is gearing up for the possible fall of its government in Karnataka with its former leader B.S. Yeddyurappa launching his own party Sunday.
The 69-year-old ex-chief minister quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nov 30 to form and lead the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).
Yeddyurappa was upset at not being made BJP chief of the Karnataka unit after he was forced to give up the chief minister’s post in July last year over mining bribery charges. He will take over as KJP president Dec 9 at a rally in Haveri, around 350 km from here.
Yeddyurappa has been claiming that between 400,000 and 500,000 people will attend the rally. However the focus is more on the number of BJP ministers and legislators who will attend the rally, defying repeated threats by the leadership that they will be expelled.
“We are ready to sacrifice our government to maintain discipline and ministers and legislators attending the rally have no place in the party,” state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa said.
Yeddyurappa claims the support of around 12 ministers in the 34-member Jagadish Shettar cabinet and about 40 other legislators – assembly and council members. The BJP has 119 members in the 225-member assembly and 44 in the 75-member council.
Around nine legislators, five assembly and four legislative council members and three Lok Sabha members of the BJP have so far openly associated themselves with the former party leader. One Lok Sabha member, B.Y. Raghavendra, is Yeddyurappa’s son.
The BJP has not acted against them. The party has only taken the stand that it will expel the ministers and legislators if they share the dais with Yeddyurappa Sunday. Regarding parliament members, the party’s state unit will ask the central leadership to decide on the action.
Yeddyurappa and his supporters are playing a sort of hide-and-seek game with the BJP. They plan to host a breakfast meeting in Haveri in which ministers, legislators and parliament members loyal to the former chief minister can take part. The BJP is planning to prevent this play with Eshwarappa hinting action against those attending the breakfast or tea parties in Haveri.
Shettar, Eshwarappa and H.N. Ananth Kumar, the BJP general secretary and Bangalore South MP, with some other state party leaders late Friday met BJP chief Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi to draw up a plan to counter Yeddyurappa.
The former chief minister and his new party are not expected to gain significantly in the assembly polls due in May but can spoil chances of the BJP retaining power in Karnataka after it won for the first time in the state in May 2008.
The BJP is banking on the fact that party leaders such as Uma Bharati in Madhya Pradesh and Kalyan Singh in Uttar Pradesh were dumped by people once they left the party.
This and the failure of regional outfits floated by prominent Karnataka leaders such as former chief ministers Ramakrishna Hegde, D. Devraj Urs and S. Bangarappa are giving some hope to BJP that Yeddyurappa too will not succeed.
However, the BJP has a difficult task since it has to put in place a plan to minimise the damage that the former party leader can inflict on.
Since its efforts to take off in the three other southern states — Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala — remains grounded, the BJP had come to believe that Karnataka would be its launch pad to rule south India and remove the tag of being a north Indian party.
But as its first stint in power nears end, the party finds itself battling the possibility of Karnataka too slipping away from its hold.