BS Yediyurappa said today that he would follow whatever the BJP leadership decides for him after July 26, when his government completes two years, indicating that he may not remain Karnataka Chief Minister after the weekend.
BS Yediyurappa May Not Remain Chief Minister of Karnataka
“There is an even on July 26 on completing of two years of our government here. After this, I will follow whatever JP Nadda (BJP president) and the leadership decides,” said Mr Yediyurappa, who has been batting away speculation of his exit for weeks. “You all know that two months ago I had said I would resign to make way for someone else. Whether I am in power or not, it is my duty to bring back the BJP to power. I urge party workers and seers to cooperate,” he added.
Now, I will quit and work for the party
“When the directions come, I will quit and work for the party,” he said. Insisting that the party leadership had said nothing to him, he remarked: “Let’s see what happens on the 26th.” Mr Yediyurappa said that till now he had not been asked to resign. He also said, “I will be Chief Minister for as long as you say, when you say no- I will work for the state. I am going to check roads and storm drains. I will do my duty till the last minute.”
Asked to name a potential successor, he refused and repeated, “Let’s see”
Mr Yediyurappa, the BJP’s first and only Chief Minster in the south, had so far officially denied that there was any talk of his exit. Reports of his possible replacement peaked when Mr Yediyurappa took a chartered flight to Delhi last Friday for meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others in the BJP leadership. Reports had said that in his meeting with PM Modi, he had offered to quit citing his health. On record, however, Mr Yediyurappa’s response to whether he was on his way out was this: “Not at all, Not at all, Not at all.”
Lingayats are a politically powerful and sizeable vote base for the BJP
After returning to the state, he went on a spree of meetings, especially one with Lingayat seers, powerful priests of the Lingayat community that Mr Yediyurappa belongs to. It was seen as a way of driving home his importance to the BJP. The Lingayats are a politically powerful and sizeable vote base for the BJP, and has strongly supported Mr Yediyurappa over the years.
Two Lingayat priests on Wednesday warned against changing the Chief Minister and a similar appeal came, unusually, even from an opposition Congress leader from the Lingayat community. Last evening, the Chief Minister had put out tweets calling himself a “loyal worker of BJP” and urging his supporters not to “indulge in protests and indiscipline that is disrespectful and embarrassing for the party.”
A section of BJP MLAs and ministers have demanded that Mr Yediyurappa be removed as Chief Minister
A section of BJP MLAs and ministers have demanded that Mr Yediyurappa be removed as Chief Minister. State Tourism Minister CP Yogeeshwara had recently said that instead of the Chief Minister, his son had been ruling and controlling the ministers of Karnataka.
BJP leader AH Vishwanath said that 80 percent of party legislators were of the view that the leadership in the state should be changed.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa reportedly plans to host a lunch for senior officials and his secretariat staff on July 25, a day before a meeting of the BJP legislature party. This has fuelled further speculation in political circles that his time in office may be winding down. A few days before that on July 23 or 24, he is expected to visit his hometown, Shivamogga, to inaugurate a slew of projects.