The chief minister has offered to resign on the condition that his son Vijayendra should get a good position in the state party unit
New Delhi: Ahead of the BJP government completing two years in Karnataka, speculations are rife that the central leadership could go in for a leadership change, replacing the 78-year-old Lingayat leader and chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa. However, Mr Yediyurappa, who met the BJP top brass, including PM Narendra Modi, rejected claims that he had been asked to quit or had offered to quit.
The BJP government will complete two years in the state on July 26 and speculations are rife that the CM, during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told him that the party leadership can replace him but not without agreeing to his conditions, including a successor of his choice and prominent positions for his sons in the state.
However, Mr Yediyurappa, who was in the national capital since Friday and met party leadership including the PM, party president J.P. Nadda, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, rubbished reports that the BJP leadership wanted to replace him and in fact said that he would be back again in August to meet the party leadership to seek more assistance from the central government for the state.
“Discussed on various matters including further strengthening the party's prospects in Karnataka ahead of 2023 general elections," tweeted the CM after meeting Mr Nadda. On reports of leadership change in the state, the CM said “No one asked me for my resignation. No such situation arose. There was no discussion over leadership change in the state.”
After his meeting with the Union home minister later, Mr Yediyurappa said that the home minister asked him to work hard and come back to power in the state.
“He (Shah) asked me to work hard to come back to power in Karnataka and also that we must win more seats in Lok Sabha elections,” Mr Yediyurappa added
Meanwhile, a leading newchannel, citing sources, claimed that Mr Yediyurappa offered to resign citing ill health during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening.
Sources, according to the news channel, said that the probable names for the CM's post are state home minister Basavaraj Bommai, mines minister Murugesh Nirani and parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi.
Sources added that the chief minister has offered to resign on the condition that his son Vijayendra should get a good position in the state party unit.
Though a section within the state BJP has been demanding a leadership change and have even cited alleged corruption charges against the CM to put pressure on the party leadership to heed to their demand, accommodations of Mr Yediyurappa's close aide Shobha Karandlaje in the PM's council of ministers, was perceived as an indication by many that the Lingayat strongman might finally agree to the leadership change. Keeping in mind the influential Lingayat vote bank and the past experience when Mr Yediyurappa had quit the BJP after being ousted from the CM's post in 2012, the BJP top brass is unlikely to antagonise the Lingayat leader.