Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday denied speculations about his resignation after certain sections of the media reported that he offered to resign during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, July 16. He added that he will be back in New Delhi in the first week of August.
Notably, during his visit to Delhi on Friday, Yediyurappa was flanked by his sons BY Vijayendra and Raghavendra. However, two sources in the BJP tell TNM that though BS Yediyurappa has not submitted his resignation now, it could not be ruled out in the month of August after the Ashada month as the BJP high command was ready for a leadership change.
Sources in BJP Delhi have told TNM that Yediyurapppa is continuing to lobby for important positions for his sons in both the party and the government. With the Union Cabinet reshuffle concluded, a strong position in the organisation is being demanded for BY Raghavendra who is an MP. Meanwhile, Yediyurappa’s camp is asking for Vijayendra to be made a Deputy CM in the Karnataka government.
The leadership issue was recently discussed during BJP national general secretary and party incharge of Karnataka, Arun Singh’s visit last month. Singh had visited the state when rumours of leadership change were rife in the state.
Yediyurappa had last expanded his Cabinet in January, with the induction of seven new ministers and had also reshuffled portfolios. There are now 33 ministers in the state Cabinet, and one berth is vacant. The Cabinet expansion in January had resulted in large-scale resentment in the party, with too many aspirants for ministerial posts.
On Friday, after his meeting with the Prime Minister amid speculation about possible changes in the state leadership and the Cabinet, Yediyurappa said that they discussed only the pending state works including the Mekedatu dam project over the Cauvery river. When asked if they discussed the possible changes in the state leadership, he responded with a smile, "I don't know. You have to tell."
The meeting came at a time when political circles were abuzz with speculations of Yediyurappa being replaced as the Chief Minister. Repeated open remarks were made by a few state BJP leaders, accusing him and his family of corruption and interference in administration, despite warnings of disciplinary action by the central leadership.
An official statement issued after the meeting said the CM discussed various state issues with the PM. "During the meeting, the CM requested to declare the Upper Bhadra Project as National project and also sought a financial assistance of Rs 6000 crore for Bengaluru Peripheral Ring Road project," the statement said.
Separately, the CM also met newly appointed four Union ministers from Karnataka over a dinner at the Karnataka Bhawan. The CM had also said he will meet some of the Union government’s key ministers including Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh on Saturday.
Earlier in June, Yediyurappa had responded to questions from reporters regarding change in leadership in Karnataka by saying, “The day they tell me to quit, I will. Then, I will involve myself in working for the welfare of the state. There is no confusion from my end. They have given me a chance and I am trying to execute the responsibilities to the best of my abilities. The rest is left to the central leadership.”
With inputs from agencies