Will abide by party leaders’ decision, haven’t received any message: Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Sunday reiterated he would abide by the decision of his party’s top leaders whether he would continue as in his post after July 26 or not.

The speculation about change of guard had gained momentum in the state after the 78-year-old Lingayat strongman and BJP’s aging mascot in Karnataka had stated that he would abide by the party high command’s decision whether to remain CM or step down.

“Our party leaders will inform me on Sunday (July 25) evening and I will follow their diktat on Monday (January 26), as I will be completing two years in the office,” he had told reporters on July 23.

After his return from day-long tour of flood-hit Belagavi district on Sunday, Yediyurappa told reporters that he had not received any message from the central leaders and as soon as he received, he would share it with the media first.

“In the morning, there is a programme to mark two years of government. I will speak about the achievements in those two years. After that, you will know the progress,” he said in response to a question as to why his daily programme after 1.30 p.m. has been left blank.

“I have decided that I will work till the very last minute. I already said two months ago that I am ready to resign whenever I was asked by our party leaders. I will reiterate it again – until now I have got no message from them (party high command). As soon as it comes… if they ask me to continue, I will. If not, I will resign and work for that party,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that he believes that the information may come on Sunday night or Monday morning.

The 78-year-old made a sudden visit to Delhi last week where he met the Prime Minister and other senior leaders.

Through weeks of speculation, the Chief Minister has said that he has not been asked to resign. However, on Thursday, he told reporters: “There is an event on July 26 on completion of two years of our government here. After this, I will follow whatever Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah and (BJP President) J.P. Nadda will decide.

“These three leaders hold me very high esteem. Therefore, I will wait for the message from the high command,” he said.

Yediyurappa had flown from Bengaluru to Belagavi, one of the worst flood-affected districts in the state, with more than 36,000 having been displaced after their homes were flooded or collapsed. Dams in the northern region, including the Almatti Dam, released water as river levels rose.

Ironical it may seem, when Yediyurappa was sworn-in as CM in July 2019, the state had witnessed unprecedented widespread rains and floods were battering the state. With no ministers for almost a month and a half, Yediyurappa had single-handendly handled floods then too.

However, this time, he had asked his ministers to remain on the ground in their districts to supervise the rescue and relief efforts.