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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Exit imminent, BS Yediyurappa says will follow party decision

Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa is reported to have made the statement in order to avoid any political repercussions that may follow the announcement of a new CM — especially in the event of a non-Lingayat candidate being picked to replace the Lingayat CM.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru |
Updated: July 23, 2021 9:46:33 am
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa speaks to reporters at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Thursday. (PTI)

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa dropped further hints on Thursday of his impending resignation once the BJP government in the state completes its second year in office on July 26. Yediyurappa also refused to name his likely successor, saying the decision has been left to the leadership in Delhi.

“Two months ago, I had suggested that I should resign as CM in order to give an opportunity to someone else. Whether I am in power or not, I must bring the BJP to power for the next few years by strengthening the party. I have decided to travel to all corners of the state to strengthen the party,” said the Karnataka Chief Minister ahead of a Cabinet meeting that’s considered to be his final as CM.

“I will not provide any suggestions on who should be made (the new chief minister). It is left to Central leaders. I will not suggest any names and it is not necessary. Even if any names are sought, I will not recommend anyone. Please wait for July 25 and we will see what has to be done,” Yediyurappa said, adding that he is awaiting a signal from the BJP to decide his next move.

The Karnataka CM is reported to have made the statement in order to avoid any political repercussions that may follow the announcement of a new CM — especially in the event of a non-Lingayat candidate being picked to replace the Lingayat CM.

In the Cabinet meeting held on Thursday, four proposals pertaining to the Shimoga region, which Yediyurappa and his elder son B Y Raghavendra represent in the Assembly and Parliament, were pushed through, sources said. The proposals for the Shimoga region were part of a supplementary list of 12 items placed before the Cabinet and were not in the main agenda of 22 items.

The Shimoga proposals include provision of nine acres for a gaushala, clearance for an Ayush university, a Rs 50-crore cancer care facility at the Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences, and regularisation of illegalities in a residential layout. The CM reportedly stood up to leave the Cabinet meeting as the final item on Shimoga was being cleared.

Earlier in the day, Yediyurappa had indicated that he would step down as CM after an event to be held on July 26 to mark two years of the BJP government in Karnataka. “Based on the message that will be given to me by the BJP national president on July 25, I will begin my work. On July 26, we have a special programme about our achievements of the last two years. After taking part in this programme, I will abide by the suggestions of the BJP national president. It is my duty to strengthen the party and bring it back to power,’” Yediyurappa said.

“All the workers of the party and the people of the state must not be in a state of confusion and must cooperate with me. From today, there should not be protests and agitations in my support as has happened in some places. It is not right,” he said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, Amit Shahji and our national president Nadda have special regard and affection towards me. It is known that no one above the age of 75 has been given any key positions but on account of the work done by Yediyurappa, the Prime Minister, the national president and Amit Shahji have allowed me to continue despite crossing 75 years and touching 79… Tomorrow I will inspect development work in Bengaluru and I will do my duty till the last minute – we will see what happens in the end,” Yediyurappa said.

Yediyurappa’s impending exit has created confusion among 12 legislators accommodated in the state Cabinet by Yediyurappa after they defected from the Congress and JDS to help the BJP form the government in July 2019.

On Thursday, some of these ministers — Byrathi Basavaraj, Dr K Sudhakar, B C Patil, MTB Nagaraj, Shivaram Hebbar, K Gopalaiah — held parleys with senior BJP ministers and Yediyurappa.

“The CM has said that the high command’s wishes will be implemented. We have come to follow the ideals of the BJP and will follow what the high command says. We have to be with the CM till the end since we have worked together and it is only right that we support him till the end,” Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said after the meeting with Yediyurappa.

The new inductees in the BJP denied reports that they were planning to resign from the government but indicated that they would do so if asked to by the BJP leadership. “We are ready to resign if asked to do so. Whatever the high command decides we will do that. We did not discuss resignations with the CM, we discussed transfers and development works,” Nagaraj, the minister for Municipal administration, said.

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