Son’s Role and JSW Deal: Behind Efforts to Remove Karnataka CM

Everything you need to know about the alleged efforts to remove Yediyurappa.

3 min read
Everything you need to know about the alleged efforts to remove Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa.

Amid constant reports of efforts being made to remove Karnataka CM Yediyurappa from his office, we try and bring you the whole controversy in four questions:

  • What Do We Know About Efforts to Unseat Karnataka CM Yediyurappa?
  • How Have Yediyurappa And His Loyalists Reacted to It?
  • What's the Controversial JSW Land Deal?
  • What Are the Allegations Against Yediyurappa’s Son?

What Do We Know About Efforts to Unseat Yediyurappa?

As Karnataka tackles the COVID second wave, there has been constant speculation about the BJP’s attempts to replace the state’s Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Ministers, like CP Yogeeshwara and BJP Hubbali-Dharwad (West) legislator Aravind Bellad, went to New Delhi on 25 May to convince the high command to unseat Yediyurappa. According to a News 18 report, party in-charge for Karnataka Aru Singh and BJP National President JP Nadda refused to grant them an audience.

The same report suggests how some in the BJP believed it is the powerful national General Secretary, BL Santosh, who is behind such rebellious activities. Giving credence to such allegations is the fact that two of his close confidantes, BJP national General Secretary CT Ravi and BJP Youth Wing national President Tejasvi Surya have recently hit out at the state government, questioning its handling of the COVID-19.

Several groups of BJP MLAs met over the last few days to discuss a leadership change in the state. The MLAs in these meets said that the high command had directed the chief minister to convene a meeting on 7 June, the end of the lockdown, to start the process.

Another leader, on the condition of anonymity, told News18, that while it was true that there were several issues with the current chief minister and that all was not well, ‘this was not the right time to demand a leadership change in the state’. “We want the high command to put a brake on corruption and his family rule. But we are not in favour of a new chief minister. Without him, BJP will bite the dust in the next Assembly polls.”


How Have Yediyurappa and His Loyalists Reacted to It?

Revenue minister R Ashoka, a Yediyurappa loyalist, said he was aware of such activities in New Delhi. “We know that some people are trying to stop oxygen supply to the current government. But we are ensuring an uninterrupted supply,” he said according to several media reports.

Yediyurappa has known about these efforts and ordered his loyalists to rally around him to send a message across. A meeting was also held for the same purpose.

Karnataka’s deputy CM Ashwath Narayana said no legislature party meeting was called on 7 June. They called the reports of the change in party leadership “not official”.


What's the Controversial JSW Land Deal?

In the midst of the buzz of removing Yediyurappa, his government in Karnataka suspended the controversial sale of over 3,500 acres of land to JSW Steel Ltd in Ballari. The government had decided to make the sale on 26 April and not go through with it on 27 May.

The criticism for going through with the deal came not only from the Opposition but also from his own party MLAs. The move is being seen as a reaction to this Opposition. This included MLAs like Basavanagouda Patil Yatnal, Arvind Bellad and Anand Singh.

The anti-Yediyurappa camp has been claiming to have signatures of MLAs.

A Yediyurappa loyalist, M P Renukacharya dismissed the signature campaign. “No one has signed against Yediyurappa and there are 62 people (out of 118 BJP MLAs) who have signed in support. I will send this to national leaders at the right time. All MLAs are focused on COVID control,” he said, according to The Indian Express.


What Are the Allegations Against Yediyurappa’s Son?

Tourism Minister CO Yogeshwar, along with another MLA, alleged interference of the CM’s son, BY Vijayendra, in the administration.

“This government does not seem like a pure BJP government,” he said, according to The Indian Express.

He, however, also said that he was not powerful enough to really change the CM.

This is not just a problem Vijayendra has, but also one of the other dissents. They have trained their guns at his son for running the government like a de-facto chief minister. This has led to allegations that the CM is running the state as a family enterprise. This is not acceptable to the other leaders.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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