BJP MLA Yatnal hits out at Delhi visit of CM's son

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(Eds: change in para 6, adding quotes) Bengaluru, June 1 (PTI) BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, for long at loggerheads with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa over a host of issues, on Tuesday hit out at his son and party state vice president B Y Vijayendra' visit to Delhi, alleging that he was 'running the government in Karnataka.' He said Yediyurappa himself should have gone to the national capital and not his son, who left for Delhi on Tuesday, as he has no role to play since it pertains to government matters.

'This shows that this is not Yediyurappa's government, but that of Vijayendra. That's why we (dissidents) oppose this government,' Yatnal told reporters here.

Yatnal claimed the Central leadership had sought reports on a few issues, including the proposal to sell land to JSW Group in Ballari region and COVID-19 management, over which they were unhappy.

'Our high command has taken a serious view of giving away 3,666 acres of land at Rs 1.2 lakh per acre. Also, the Centre is not happy with the COVID-19 management,' he said.

Though in the previous cabinet meeting, it was decided to sell the parcel of land to the JSW Group, it was put on hold on May 27, owing to protests from both within the government and outside.

About a month ago Vijayendra had gone to Delhi with Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, triggering speculations of a possible change of leadership.

There were rumours that the Centre wanted Bommai to replace Yediyurappa as the BJP high command was not happy with the functioning of the government.

Bommai had dismissed all such rumours as false.

Recently, speculations were again rife when Revenue Minister R Ashoka conceded that some MLAs and ministers have been organising meetings to effect a change in leadership.

There were allegations that Tourism Minister C P Yogeeshwar was at the centre of the 'conspiracy', but he has remained silent on the issue.

Many ministers and MLAs loyal to Yediyurappa have demanded the removal of Yogeeshwar.

Yatnal, however, said no one can remove the minister as the Yediyurappa government would not survive.

'The Yediyurappa government will not survive if Yogeeshwar is removed. He can even come back with the Energy portfolio,' Yatnal added.

The Vijayapura MLA has for long been at loggerheads with Yediyurappa and Vijayendra over scores of issues and even demanded that the Central leadership 'not encourage dynastic politics and corruption' in BJP's Karnataka unit, a reference to Vijayendra and his brother B Y Raghavendra, an MP from Shimoga constituency, allegedly running affairs of the state.

Meanwhile, BJP sources said Vijayendra's Delhi trip has nothing to do with state politics and it was for a function.

'He has gone on a family trip to Delhi to attend a function. He is accompanied by his wife and others,' a BJP leader said.

Congress state president D K Shivakumar refused to comment on the development, saying he would not speak about 'power hungry people.' 'Yediyurappa has taken party hoppers into his fold. Let him suffer,' Shivakumar said.

The Congress leader said the focus of his party is to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and not waste time talking about 'power hungry people.' PTI GMS APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR

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