In a clear cut message to former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, the BJP high command has conveyed the message that he can’t take unilateral decisions anymore.
BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel on Monday announced that he will accompany Yediyurappa on his state tour after Ganesh Chaturthi.
“The tour programme will soon be fixed. We will face the next Assembly elections under the guidance of Yediyurappa and leadership of the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The party will contest with team spirit,” he maintained.
The statement by Nalinkumar Kateel has sparked debate in the state political circles. Yediyurappa has unilaterally announced that he will take up a statewide tour to strengthen the party base. His family has gifted him with Rs 1.3 crore luxury car after returning from Maldives for the purpose. He had also stated that his tour would begin from constituencies where BJP lost elections.
However, the statements by Yediyurappa did not go down well with party leaders as they felt the tour by Yediyurappa will affect the process of the new government’s smooth take off. They also feared that it would make the party more dependent on him.
The party, knowing well of Yediyurappa’s organisational skills and massive mass appeal even after stepping down as the chief minister, wants to utilise his strengths but it does not want any situation where he dictates terms to the party, sources in the BJP reveal.
On the other hand, Bommai, who has won the confidence of the BJP high command, has further strengthened his position after local body election results. Despite the fact that they were merely local body elections, the state BJP has gone to election without Yediyurappa tag in the Lingayat heartlands.
Yediyurappa’s request for cabinet berth for his son B.Y. Vijayendra was turned down by the high command after Bommai assumed power. Yediyurappa is hoping that his son Vijayendra, criticized for being a ‘shadow CM’ during his tenure would get a cabinet berth.
The decision of the party to send Nalinkumar Kateel with Yediyurappa is a clear subtle message for the veteran leader that he has to move according to the party’s plans.