Karnataka Tourism Minister C.P. Yogeshwara, the one-time blue-eyed boy of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, is the latest in the party to rebel against him, saying the present dispensation in the state cannot be termed as the BJP’s government but “a coalition setup governed by all three parties”.
Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a state cabinet meeting here, Yogeshwara said that he had gone to New Delhi to reveal everything about him facing humiliation at every possible level in the government.
“Do we have a single party government here? When we took all the pains to form a government in mid-2019, we all presumed we were forming a BJP government but what we have today is a coalition of three parties here,” he said angrily.
Asked to elaborate, Yogeshwara said that he certainly was not talking about 17 MLAs who have come from JD-S and the Congress, “but in the present set up, it (the government) is adjusting politics to reigning supreme at the cost of BJP and its workers and leaders”.
“In my own case (Channapatna Assembly seat), the BJP has adjustments with my arch rivals (JD-S leader, H.D. Kumarswamy and Congress’ state President D.K. Shivakumar). If this continues any further, would it not affect electoral prospects in 2023? Should I not bring this to our party top brass in Delhi?” he asked.
In a veiled attack at BJP state Vice President and Yediyurappa’s youngest son, B. Y. Vijayendra, Yogeshwara said that after becoming minister, he realised how difficult it was to handle the burden of commands being issued in the name of Yediyurappa. “How long can one tolerate such humiliation at all levels?” he asked.
Responding to a question, the minister said that he knows his limitations very well.
“I do not know how these reports are about me trying to upstage Yediyurappa in the state. This is far-fetched from any stretch of imagination. Replacement of a leader like Yediyurappa cannot happen with a person like me. I still maintain that my trip to Delhi was express my issues in front of party’s central leaders and not to seek any replacement for Yediyurappa,” he said.
Yediyurappa, in mid-December 2020, stood firm on inducting Yogeshwara as a minister despite several of key aides and supporters opposing the move.
Yogeshwara is said to have played a crucial role in identifying 17 legislators from Congress and Janata Dal-S to switch over, toppling the Congress-JD-S coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy.
On January 13, Yediyurappa decided to expand his 17-month old cabinet for the third time and Yogeshwara was sworn in as minister along with six others. Even as the ceremony was on, Yediyurappa’s bitterest critic in the party, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, had alleged that Yogeshwara was inducted into the cabinet after he succeeded in “blackmailing” Yediyurappa and Vijayendra, using a CD containing “sordid details of their dealings”.