Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday said he will continue to hold the top position in the state as long as the BJP high command has confidence in him. His comments come at a time when speculations of leadership changes are doing rounds in the state.
However, the Chief Minister also said he doesn’t feel that there is no alternate leadership in BJP. As long as the Delhi high command has confidence in him, he will continue as the Chief Minister. The day they will say they don’t want him, he will resign and work day and night for the development of the state, Yediyurappa said in response to a question on speculations of replacing him as CM.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said he’s in no confusion. The high command has given him an opportunity and he is trying beyond his strength to utilize the opportunity for good. Rest is left for the high command.
Responding to a question on alternate leadership to him, Yediyurappa said he will not criticize anyone. He won’t agree that there is no alternate person. There will always be alternate persons in the state and the country, so he won’t agree that there are no alternate persons in Karnataka, but until the high command has confidence in him, he will continue as the Chief Minister.
However, Deputy Chief Minister Dr. CN Ashwathnarayan said there is no question of CM Yediyurappa stepping down. No such discussions are happening. He only made a statement that he is willing to abide by whatever decision the party takes as he is a disciplined soldier of the party.
Ever since speculations of the leadership change are rife in the state, this is possibly the first time that the 78-year old Lingayat strongman has spoken in detail in this regard and also about an alternate leader to replace him in the state BJP.
Speculations have been rife for some time now that efforts were on, within the ruling BJP to exert pressure for unseating Yediyurappa.
The recent visit by state Tourism Minister C P Yogeeshwara and Hubballi-Dharwad West MLA Arvind Bellad to Delhi, reportedly with an intention to meet the high command and express the feelings of some legislators against Yediyurappa’s style of functioning and request them to rein in the Chief Minister, had given credibility to such speculation.
Also, citing certain decisions taken by the government, its handling of the COVID crisis and alleged instances of corruption, a few MLAs were said to be pushing for convening a legislature party meeting.
However, state BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel and Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi had ruled out leadership change and had said that Yediyurappa will complete the term.
Several legislators considered close to the Chief Minister too had rallied around him questioning the need for such a change and asserted that the veteran leader will complete the term and will even lead the party during the next polls two years away.