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Monday, September 20, 2021

Vajpayee had asked me to be central minister, but I chose to work for BJP in Karnataka: Yediyurappa

Yediyurappa said he will work hard further to bring the BJP party back to power by getting 125-130 seats in the 2023 polls.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: July 26, 2021 7:56:39 pm
B S YediyurappaB S Yediyurappa speaks at an event in Bengaluru on Monday (PTI)

In an emotional speech on Monday, Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa announced his resignation during an event which was held to celebrate his government’s second anniversary in Bengaluru. Terming his tenure as an ‘agnipariksha’ (trial by fire), a visibly emotional Yediyurappa, in a choked voice, said he has always worked to build the party and even when the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had asked him once to become a central minister, he had chosen to stay back in Karnataka to work for BJP.

“Not out of grief, but with happiness, I am resigning from the post of the CM. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda for giving me an opportunity to serve as the CM for two years, despite completing 75 years of age. There is an unwritten rule in the BJP that those above 75 years are kept out of elected offices,” he said.

Recalling his journey and political career, Yediyurappa said he will work hard further to bring the BJP party back to power — even if he does not hold any position — by getting 125-130 seats in the 2023 polls.

Remembering the difficult times he had after forming the government two years back, he said, “When I took charge as CM two  years ago, I was not allowed to form the cabinet by the Centre. There was drought and floods, and I had to travel everywhere alone. Later the cabinet was formed, and then in the last one-and-half year there is Covid.”

“With cooperation from everyone, I have worked efficiently for the welfare of the state and brought in a change. I have put in efforts beyond my limit for this,” he said thanking the ministers, officials and media friends. “My prayer to God is only that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah should win and come back to power to serve the country and make India strong, this is the opinion of the people too,” he added.

Yediyurappa recalled the difficult times when he was working to build the party in Shikaripura taluk by organising marches from nearby areas. “We also had no one in the assembly then and I was alone as the other party MLA Vasantha Bangera quit. I never turned back or worried that I was alone and continued to work for the party and constituency…ultimately people liked it,” he said.

He also remembered his work as RSS pracharak at Shikaripura in Shivamogga and his tenure as Purasabha president.

Recalling a fatal attack on him while he was on his way to the office when he was the Purasabha president, the veteran BJP leader said, “They (miscreants) thought I was finished and left.”

“Following this incident when my wife and children came to meet me, I told them that I will dedicate my future to the people of the state. Today, I am satisfied because I have been able to achieve that.”

Remembering his days as a Jan Sangh worker and his taking part in farmers’ and Dalit movements, he said, “I want to humbly submit that this kind of work to strengthen the organisation has led me to this position.”

He also recalled that when then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had asked him to become a central minister, he had said he wanted to work for BJP in Karnataka. “I requested him to allow me to build the party in the state,” Yediyurappa said.

He further said, “There was a time when there was great difficulty to gather even 300-400 people in a party programme when leaders like Vajpayee, L K Advani or Murli Manohar Joshi toured the state. But I travelled across the state to build the organisation and with the cooperation of national leaders, it resulted in the growth of the party to the level it is in power today.”

He also said that there was a time when they had no car and he along with other leaders travelled on bicycles to strengthen the party in the state.  “I feel surprised when I think today that when there was no one, we tried to build the party. Today the party has grown strongly,” he said.

Before concluding his speech, BJP veteran leader Yediyurappa stated that there is a loss of trust among people towards elected representatives and bureaucrats, “I appeal to them (officials and elected representatives)  to work honestly for the progress of the country and the state,” he said.

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