Nadda Gives Thumbs Up to Yediyurappa, Ignores Question on Leadership Change
BJP replaced Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa with
Bharatiya Janata Party Chief JP Nadda on Sunday, 25 July, appreciated Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for the "work he is doing in Karnataka".
Nadda further said, "He is handling things on his own".
Nadda was answering a question at a press conference held in Panaji, Goa. When asked about rift in the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, he rebutted without clearly commenting on speculation about leadership change in the state, "You think that (there is a crisis). We don't think so".
Yediyurappa had said, earlier on Sunday, that the BJP High Command will issue a statement by evening about his future as the chief minister of the state.
In Bengaluru, Yediyurappa said that he has not heard from the BJP high command. He hopes to hear from BJP national leaders about leadership change later during the night, he said.
Yediyurappa has been facing resistance from BJP leaders in his home state for the past several months. Some of the BJP legislators including Arvind Ballad, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and CP Yogeshwara have been openly criticising the chief minister. In the third week of July, Ballad even accused the state government of tapping his cell phone.
In the third week of July, Yediyurappa himself has been hinting about his possible exit, stating he will obey the party's high command.
Meanwhile, names of some BJP leaders had been doing the rounds as prospective candidates for the chief minister’s chair. Among them, the most prominent were Hubli-Dharwad MLA Arvind Bellad, state Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani, and state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The names of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP’s National General Secretaries CT Ravi and BL Santhosh and state’s deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, had also figured in the longlist of contenders.
Meanwhile, Lingayat Seers of Karnataka kept up their pressure tactic on Sunday, as they held a public meeting in Bengaluru to support Yediyurappa. Yediyurappa is a Lingayat leader. Lingayats are a dominant community comprising 99 castes.
Seers of 35 Lingayat mutts were part of the gathering. Yediyurappa should not be removed from the chief minister's role, the seers expressed.
On Sunday, Yediyurappa toured the flood-hit districts of Karnataka including Belagavi. On 26 July, Yediyurappa's government is expected to complete two years of governance.
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