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Yediyurappa to BJP leaders: Focus on Covid, not signature campaigns

For the past some time, speculations have been rife about a possible replacement of Yediyurappa as Karnataka CM.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bangalore |
June 7, 2021 11:46:25 pm
Karnataka BudgetKarnataka Chief Minister Yeddiyurappa (File)

With rumours flying thick about a possible change of guard in Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Monday asked his party leaders to ‘not indulge in signature campaigns or issue political statements’, but focus on Covid-19 management in their constituencies.

Day after claiming he would resign if the BJP’s central leadership asked him to, on Monday, Yediyurappa took to Twitter and said, “At a time when people are facing distress because of the COVID pandemic, every BJP legislator should give priority towards controlling COVID in their constituencies. I appeal that no one should indulge in any kind of signature campaigns or making political statements, and help people in distress.”

Yediyurappa’s statement came just after a series of comments by his party colleagues on speculations to replace him, and claims by his political secretary and MLA MP Renukacharya about having a letter signed by more than 65 legislators in his favour.

Renukacharya on Monday morning told reporters in Bengaluru, “Sixty-five MLAs are on Yediyurappa’s side. They have signed a letter. I have it with me. One is in Kannada for the BJP Karnataka president and another one is written in English for the central leadership.”

Revenue Minister R Ashoka said the state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel has constituted a committee to put an end to open expression of complaints, which is causing embarrassment to the party and the state government during this time of the Covid-19 crises.

Ashoka said the committee consists of the state president, Chief Minister, four general secretaries, and four Ministers, including him. “This committee has been formed to clear confusion and stop open statements. Those with grievances can approach it,” he added.

“There is a clear instruction from the state president and the central leadership that no one should speak regarding the Chief Minister’s position or about replacing him and no one should make counter statements either in favour or against the CM,” Ashoka said

However, on the same day, Hubballi-Dharwad West BJP MLA Arvind Bellad, whose recent visit to Delhi had led to speculation about attempts to replace Yediyurappa, expressed doubts about the authenticity of the letter containing signatures of MLAs, and said no signature campaign had taken place in favour or against anyone.

“Signatures were earlier taken from about 65 legislators during the session, seeking early release of funds from the RDPR department. As such letters have a separate covering letter and papers containing signatures, I don’t know whether that letter is being used now,” he said.

Renukacharya clarified that the letter concerning the RDPR department has already been given to those it was addressed to, and this was a separate letter.

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