Updated: June 19, 2021 5:45:23 am
A two day visit to Karnataka by BJP general secretary in-charge of the state, Arun Singh, to conduct an appraisal of the B S Yediyurappa-led government ended on Friday with the chief minister seeming to gain an upper hand against purported efforts by a section of leaders to use Singh’s visit to build a case for a change of leadership in the state.
“There was no discussion of a change in leadership. We have decided that Yediyurappa is our leader. Despite this being stressed many times, we cannot understand why the issue of leadership changes keeps cropping up,” state revenue minister R Ashok said at a media briefing after a BJP core committee meeting held in the presence of Singh.
At the end of the meeting, held at the BJP office in Bengaluru, Yediyurappa emerged waving his signature victory sign as he left the premises.
He spoke briefly to the media but did not comment on the leadership issue. Instead, he made a statement that his government intends to protect the state’s water rights in a dispute with Tamil Nadu over a project proposed by the state in the Cauvery river basin.
“There is no confusion in the government. The media is being misled. Some people who have spoken against me in the past have said things in public. No opportunity to complain was given to anyone by the state in-charge. We all are working as one,” Yediyurappa said earlier in the day after a BJP MLC H Vishwanath alleged the state was steeped in corruption.
“The allegations are all baseless,” the chief minister said in a reaction to comments by Vishwanath of kickbacks being paid to award irrigation projects in the state.
Following Friday’s core committee meeting, BJP general secretary Singh said he had directed the state unit to take up several programmes for the growth of the party and that only two or three MLAs had complained against the government. Singh said directions had been issued for strict action to be taken against legislators speaking against the BJP government in public.
“All party leaders must focus on taking on the opposition Congress and its leaders even though they are virtually non-existent. The good work of the government must be highlighted,” Singh said.
BJP national general secretary C T Ravi, an MLA from Karnataka, who is perceived to be opposing to continuation of the existing leadership in the state, said the BJP is a principled party which has zero tolerance towards corruption.
“The PM has said ‘main nahi kaunga, na khane dunga (I won’t indulge in corruption, I won’t let anyone indulge either)’. This is the thinking of the party. When allegations of corruption are proven it becomes a serious issue,” Ravi said with respect to allegations of corruption and nepotism made against CM Yediyurappa and his family by some BJP legislators in the state.
Singh’s visit to Bengaluru by the BJP state in-charge for Karnataka came amid speculation of a possible move to change the leadership in the state on account of Yediyurappa’s advancing age and purported dissatisfaction in the BJP over the alleged cornering of power and wealth by the CM and his family members.
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