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As Karnataka BJP leaders bicker, gen secy arrives, says ‘talk to me, not to media’

Arun Singh, who landed in Bengaluru on Wednesday afternoon, will be in Karnataka for three days and meet state MLAs and MPs.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (File photo)

Amid rumblings in the state BJP unit against the leadership of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the party’s national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Arun Singh, arrived in Bengaluru Wednesday, and said leaders with complaints should come to him and not talk to the media.

Speaking to reporters, Singh maintained that “all Karnataka BJP leaders are together and there’s no difference of opinion”. He added: “If anyone has any issue, let them come and talk to me and not to the media.”

Singh, who landed in Bengaluru on Wednesday afternoon, is scheduled to meet state cabinet ministers at the BJP head office in Malleshwaram in the evening.

Despite several MLAs airing their discontent over Yediyurappa’s style of functioning, the state BJP leadership has repeatedly played down the strife and backed the CM. On Wednesday too, Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel said no change of guard was likely in the state. “There is no question of leadership change. Chief Minister Yediyurappa will remain in the post for the next two years,” Kateel said.

However, rural development minister KS Eshwarappa acknowledged that some within the party want Yediyurappa replaced.

In response to a question by reporters, Eshwarappa said Wednesday, “What you are saying is right, some have proposed that the Chief Minister should be changed, while others want Yediyurappa to continue. A few have even gone to Delhi over this. I hope all issues will now be resolved, as Singh meets ministers, legislators and MPs and shares their opinion with the central leadership.”

Singh will be in the state for three days. He is scheduled to meet Cabinet ministers and MLAs and is also expected to take part in the state BJP core committee meeting in Bengaluru.

Last week, Singh had praised Yediyurappa’s performance as CM, and subtly chided those giving statements against him.

Yediyurappa, on his part, has said he will “keep working for the development of the state in the remaining two years” of his term.

Earlier, BJP legislators like Hubli-Dharwad MLA Arvind Bellad and tourism minister C P Yogeshwar had made visits to Delhi to convey unhappiness with Yediyurappa to national leaders.

MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and MLC A H Vishwanath too have been continuously attacking the government. They have also alleged interference from Yediyurappa’s younger son and state BJP vice president B Y Vijayendra in the administration of the state.

Congress takes dig at Arun Singh visit to Karnataka

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Congress on Wednesday took a dig at Arun Singh’s visit to the state, saying that instead of thinking about people, he is resolving bickering within the party.

“Dear Arun Singh, you are rushing here to hold a ‘Katte Panchayat’ (Platform Panchayat meeting) but don’t you have the time to address the grievances of people? From day one of coming to power, this government has been making news for squabbling and not for any achievement,” Karnataka Congress tweeted in Kannada ahead of Singh’s visit.

The Congress further alleged that the BJP’s internal strife has peaked at a time when the state is reeling under Covid-19, unemployment, increase in fuel prices, black fungus disease, farmers’ issues, and economic downturns, adding that the ruling government has “lots of time for a power struggle”.

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