Dropping enough hints that he would resign as the Chief Minister, Karnataka chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday said that he would resign if the BJP’s central leaders asked him to do so.
Yediyurappa told reporters he was ready to accept any decision made by the BJP high command after July 25, as he would be completing two years in office on July 26.
“I appeal to my supporters not to protest against any decision taken by my party central leaders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah (Home Minister) and our national President J.P. Nadda have special love and faith towards me. I will receive their decision on July 25 and based on that I will resume my new assignment on July 26 onwards,” he said.
He added that as you (Media) all are aware that no position is given in our party to those who have crossed 75 years of age, but appreciating his work they (party central leaders) have given him an opportunity despite him crossing 78 years.
“Based on the instructions that the central leaders will give me on July 25, I will begin my work from July 26. We have a special programme on July 26 regarding 2 years of our government, after attending that event, I will abide by the instructions from the national president,” he added.
He reiterated that irrespective of the party central leader’s decision, his decision to bring the BJP back to power in 2023 will remain undiluted. “This is my firm commitment to my party,” the CM said.
The CM said that he cannot forget the love and affection bestowed upon him by the seers from cutting across caste lines for two days. “These two days are the most unforgettable days of my life, as no CM could ever boast of such a thing that when they heard news about my resignation they came in a group and blessed me. What more one can aspire for,” he said.
Yediyurappa, BJP’s first Chief Minister in south India, has almost completed two years in office since he took over from the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in July 2019.
He has been facing dissidence from within the BJP in the state. Some leaders including MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Tourism Minister C.P. Yogeshwar, Aravind Bellad and MLC A.H. Vishwanath have openly spoken against him, despite warnings of disciplinary action by the leadership.
On June 6 itself Yeddiyurappa had made an open statement that he was ready to quit as the CM as and when the party high command tells him to do so. But after this, entire BJP top brass appeared to be in a damage control mode denying that Yediyurappa would be replaced so soon and exhorted that he would be allowed to complete his term in the office till 2023.
Even BJP Karnataka in-charge, Arun Singh was rushed to Bengaluru to hold three-day meet with MLAs and drive home the point that party high command was firmly backing Yedyurappa in June.
The Chief Minister’s sudden trip to Delhi last week to meet BJP’s top leaders had raised questions about how long he would continue in his post.
During his two-day visit to Delhi last Friday, when asked about rumours of a leadership change in the state BJP, he told reporters “There is no truth in it. Not at all. Not at all. Not at all.”
He said the same after flying back to Bengaluru – that he would keep the post.
Meanwhile, the political and religious leaders of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, which comprises 16 per cent of the state’s population and is seen as the BJP’s big support base in the state, are backing the Chief Minister. Several of them have warned the BJP against any move to dislodge Yediyurappa, who also belongs to the community.