Will Step Down If BJP High Command Asks Me: K’taka CM Yediyurappa
Yediyurappa said, “The day they will say they don’t want me, I will resign and work day and night for the state.”
Amid political tensions and speculation about a leadership change, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday said, “as long as the Delhi high command (Bharatiya Janata Party) has confidence in me, I will continue as the Chief Minister,” PTI reported.
He added, “The day they will say they don’t want me, I will resign and work day and night for the development of the state.”
Yediyurappa even asserted that alternate BJP leadership exists and he is in no confusion.
“They have given me an opportunity, I'm trying beyond my strength to utilise the opportunity for good. Rest is left for the high command," he was quoted by PTI.
The 78-year-old was further quoted as saying, “I will not criticise anyone. I won't agree that there is no alternate person. There will always be alternate persons in the state and the country, so I won't agree that there are no alternate persons in Karnataka.”
COVID Mismanagement and Corruption Allegations
As Karnataka tackles the COVID second wave, there has been constant speculation about the BJP’s attempts to replace Yediyurappa.
Ministers like CP Yogeeshwara and BJP Hubli-Dharwad (West) legislator Arvind Bellad went to New Delhi on 25 May to convince the high command to unseat Yediyurappa.
Moreover, citing the state government’s mismanagement of the pandemic and other alleged corruption charges, a few MLAs were reportedly pushing for convening a legislature party meeting.
Yediyurappa's son and state BJP vice-president BY Vijayendra, who has been accused of interfering in the administration, had recently visited Delhi and met top party leaders including national President JP Nadda and had reportedly requested to rein in dissidents.
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 Basavanagowda Patil Yatnal, Bellad and Anand Singh.
The anti-Yediyurappa camp has been claiming to have signatures of several MLAs.
But a Yediyurappa loyalist, MP 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.
Though State Revenue minister R Ashok dismissed rumours about Yediyurappa’s resignation, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar claimed, “There is a different strategy behind CM Yediyurappa’s statement for resignation. He is a strong leader in BJP and state politics. BJP went to elections under his leadership and took away our party’s friends to form the government,” ANI reported.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI and Indian Express)
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