Yediyurappa Will Continue as K’taka CM: Pralhad Joshi Clarifies

BJP’s senior leader Pralhad Joshi said that the party’s high command is not mulling BS Yediyurappa’s resignation.

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Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi on Sunday, 6 May said that there’s no proposal that seeks Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s resignation, before the Bharatiya Janata Party’s high command.

“There is no question of leadership change in Karnataka as the Chief Minister's position is not vacant and the incumbent CM Yediyurappa is functioning efficiently,” IANS quoted him as saying.

His statement came hours after the Chief Minister said that he was ready to resign if the party's leadership wanted him to do so. Speculation was rife that Joshi, a four time Lok Sabha member from Dharwad constituency, could replace Yediyurappa. Joshi said that no such discussion involving him has taken place.


‘No MLA Met Me’: Joshi

Joshi added that the party was focused on containing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which has, as of Saturday, claimed 31,580 lives and infected 26.95 lakh people across Karnataka.

“The focus of everyone should be on managing the COVID situation and containing the spread of the pandemic, and not change of political leadership,” he said.

Joshi stated that he was not aware if legislators had gone to Delhi. “No one has met me nor have I met anyone.”

“Though he (Yediyurappa) is aged, he is functioning efficiently. And, there has been no discussion about leadership change keeping his age as the factor. There is no vacant position as far as the Chief Minister is concerned, there is no question (of leadership change),” Business Standard quoted him as saying.

"When I'm in Hubballi or in Delhi, Ministers from the State come and meet me as I'm a Minister at the Centre and have been working in the BJP for long on matters concerning the State and on work that has to happen from the Centre. Other than this, no other discussions have taken place," he added.


Speculations on the CM’s Unseating

Political circles in Karnataka has been speculating that efforts were on to unseat Chief Minister Yediyurappa.

A recent visit by State Tourism Minister C P Yogeeshwara and Hubballi-Dharwad West MLA Arvind Bellad to Delhi, reportedly to meet the high command and rein in the Chief Minister had given credibility to such speculation.

Though the BJP had officially denied such speculation even in the past, it refuses to die down, with senior MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal picking open squabbles with Yediyurappa.

No Leadership Change

Ruling out a leadership change, The News Minute reported that Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel said Yediyurappa will continue to be the CM until the end of the Assembly term up to May 2023.

“As the party has not discussed the issue at any level, the question of a change of leadership does not arise," he said adding that a meeting of all legislators and Ministers would be convened in June, in Bengaluru, to sort any differences.

The State’s Revenue Minister R Ashoka had also expressed support for the CM and said that he is BJP’s legislative leader. He told the media that Yediyurappa has been leading the fight against the pandemic, visiting hospitals, meeting COVID-19 patients and holding meetings to contain further spread of the coronavirus.

Yediyurappa, 78, became Chief Minister for the fourth time on 26 July, 2019, after the 14-month-old Janata Dal-Secular (JDS)-Congress coalition government fell when HD Kumaraswamy lost the confidence vote in the state Legislative Assembly on 23 July, 2019.

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