'Wasn't Under Pressure': Amid Tears, Karnataka CM Yediyurappa Resigns
"Every moment of my political life was an agnipariksha," Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa said in his speech.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday, 26 July, resigned from his post following an emotional speech at an event organised to mark two years of his government coming to power in the state.
After thanking the central leadership, Yediyurappa submitted his resignation to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, and it was accepted.
Speaking to the media, Yediyurappa said that he was not pressured to resign.
"I was not pressurised to resign. I did it on my own, so that someone else can take over as the chief minister after the completion of two years. I will work hard to bring the BJP back to power in the next election," he said, adding that he had not suggested anybody's name as his successor to the party's central leadership.
'Won't Leave State': What Yediyurappa Said
Refuting rumours of him being offered governorship, Yediyurappa said that he won't leave Karnataka and will keep working under the new chief minister to bring the party back to power in the 2023 elections.
"There is no need to make any inference of dissatisfaction," he said.
He further said that he was grateful to PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda and the people of the state.
Earlier, taking to Twitter, Yediyurappa said: "It has been an honour to have served the state for the past two years. I have decided to resign as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. I am humbled and sincerely thank the people of the state for giving me the opportunity to serve them (sic)."
Speaking at the event organised to mark two years of his government earlier on Monday, Yediyurappa broke down and said: "Every moment of my political life was an agnipariksha (trial by fire)."
Yediyurappa promised that he will do everything to keep the BJP in power in the state. He said that he had to pass several tests of time during his term and faced the COVID-19 crisis successfully.
"In the country, Karnataka was one of the states that stood out to fight COVID-19. Even PM Modi had said this. The BJP has entrusted me with responsibility in all circumstances," he said, adding that he will work on taking the party forward.
What Next For Karnataka? Who Will Be the New CM?
While the party is yet to announce the name of his successor, sources told The Quint that Yediyurappa is likely to continue as the caretaker chief minister at least for another two weeks.
While accepting the resignation of Yediyurappa and dissolving the Council of Ministers with immediate effect, Governor Gehlot, in an official notification, said he "shall continue to function as the chief minister till alternative arrangements are made".
Sources had earlier told The Quint that a "dignified exit" was being planned for Yediyurappa with the governorship of either Telangana or Maharashtra on the cards. Yediyurappa, however, rejected such reports on Monday.
However, a plum posting and a significant position within the party for his son BY Vijayendra is also in the works, sources in the BJP said.
Meanwhile, several names are doing the rounds as frontrunners to succeed Yediyurappa.
BJP’s Hubli-Dharwad MLA Arvind Bellad, the state’s Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP’s National General Secretaries CT Ravi and BL Santhosh, and state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai are some of the names being considered for the post.
On the other hand, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Karnataka BJP in-charge Arun Singh are likely to be the two central observers for the state, news agency ANI reported, citing sources.
Opposition Slams BJP, Demands Explanation
Congress General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka and the party's national spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala said that PM Modi "habitually insults and compulsorily throws senior BJP Leaders in the dustbin of history".
"Malady is with BJP’s corrupt Govt & appalling maladministration in #Karnataka , for it is an illegitimate Govt born out of 'defection & corruption'. Will merely changing the face change the diabolical character of BJP Govt synonymous with mal governance & decay (sic)," he tweeted.
"The ignominy, torment and insult being heaped upon Shri BS Yediyurappa by Modi ji, dictating him to tender his resignation, makes him PM’s latest victim and member of the ‘forced retirement club’," Surjewala added.
Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar also slammed the BJP over Yediyurappa's resignation, saying he should clarify why he called the resignation "painful" and specify the reason behind it.
"People have suffered from 2 years because of corona is that the reason? Is it because of the government you are sad? Your members of the party were not controlled by the high command ... is that the reason for your pain? [sic]" he asked.
"It is not Yediyurappa crying or the CM of Karnataka crying, but the state is crying. We are just an Opposition party but he represented the government, so let him open up and say why he is crying and who is making him cry?" he added.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister K Sudhakar expressed surprise at Yediyurappa's resignation.
"It was a surprise for me. He told me that he may receive a favorable decision from the high command by 26 July. But we all have to abide by the norms of the party. He is only quitting the CM post, not active politics," he told ANI.
Resignation in the Works for Months
Yediyurappa had reportedly been facing resistance from within the state unit since the beginning of his term, specifically over prioritising the MLAs who had left the Congress and the JD(S) to cause the downfall of the HD Kumaraswamy government in 2019.
Several leaders were also irked by his son BY Vijayendra allegedly acting as a "proxy CM".
Yediyurappa had expressed his willingness to step down in June this year, sources told The Quint.
Sources told The Quint that in his meet with PM Modi on 16 July, Yediyurappa expressed his willingness to step down citing "health reasons".
"It is a time-tested line and the PM has accepted this way of ending the term. The CM, however, clung on and requested for an extension of one month to set things in order," a source had said.
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