After quiting as CM, want to tour state for next 10-15 years to build BJP: Yediyurappa

Hours after hinting that he would resign, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday said that he would continue to tour the state and ensure the BJP retains Karnataka in the 2023 Assembly polls and also wins 25 seats in 2024 General Elections.

Yediyurappa told reporters that there is no message from party high command yet on anything.

“I am still awaiting for their directions on July 25 (Sunday evening). Everything will be cleared on that day (Sunday),” he said, adding that he will abide by the party high command’s decision.

He added that he was mentally prepared for both scenarios (continuing as well as resigning from the CM’s post) as everything depends on the party’s decision on July 25.

“What is pressure? I had offered to quit from the CM’s post two months ago itself. So there is no pressure neither I am tense,” he said.

He reiterated that he had offered to quit almost two months ago itself, which is known to everyone (his June 6 statement). “That day (June 6), I had offered to quit. I have neither placed any demand nor suggested any name for the CM’s post. It their choice,” he said.

“As long as the party high command wishes me to continue as CM, I will continue… the day they say I should put in my papers… without even battling my eyelid, I will put in my papers. That is what I have said in the past and will continue to say now too,” he said.

He said that he will perform his duty as the Chief Minister till the very last minute by convening meetings, going on inspections and all other administrative work without any hesitation.

Yediyurappa also said that even if the party high command seeks his input on this matter (of his successor), he would not be giving any suggestion this time.

“Our central leaders are capable enough to find an alternative and there is no dearth of capable leaders in Karnataka too. So, the question of I suggesting to any successor to them will not arise… even if it arises, I will not suggest,” he said.

Refused to drawn into the issue that his successor should be from Lingayat community, Yediyurappa said that he has not even suggested which caste his successor should belong to.

About his grand plans for celebrating two years in power, he said that the government is planning to bring out a detailed booklet of achievements, which highlight success stories of last two years.

“All departments have progressed under my stewardship. Therefore, each department will publish success stories,” he said, adding that it will be a gala event where everyone will be enjoying.

In 2008, Yediyurappa became first-ever BJP Chief Minister in south India, after leading the BJP to a victory in the Assembly elections.

However, he resigned in 2011 after being indicted over a corruption case, but was acquitted in 2016.

Owing to alleged ill-treatment meted out to him by the party, he left the BJP in 2012 and formed his own party, the Karnataka Janata Paksha and decimated the BJP in 2013 Assembly polls. However, in 2014, he was back in the BJP’s fold, winning the Lok Sabha elections from the Shivamogga constituency, but quit after being elected to the Assembly in May 2018 elections.

He is also considered to be chief architect of ‘Operation Kamala’, a term coined in 2008, when then minister G. Janardhana Reddy used a method bypassing the anti-defection law to secure support from legislators, so as to take BJP past the majority number.

Yediyurappa unabashedly has defended ‘Operation Kamala’ on several occasions, asserting that it was not wrong and he never regretted it as it is a part of democracy.