Hitting the poll campaign trail, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday obliquely expressed his intentions to continue as his tenure even after state Assembly elections in 2023.
Notwithstanding the criticism by his own party men, Yediyurppa said that he would want to lead the party to victory in 2024 Lok Sabha polls along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the Congress in the state gets zero seats in the next Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking at the campaign rally in Tumkuru, Yediyurappa dared the Congress leader, Siddaramaiah to accept his challenge to defeat him in 2023 Assembly polls. "Let Siddaramaiah know that I will not allow the Congress party to win single seat now or even in next Assembly elections and will ensure them to sit in the Opposition. And I will lead the party in next Lok Sabha election along with Prime Minister Modi," he said and quickly added that he was stating this to ensure to strengthen the hands of Modi by handing him even bigger victory in next Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
Yediyurappa came out in his defence for the first time nearly a week after his leadership was challenged by his own party leaders.
Last week his own party leader from Vijayapura district, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, had stated that Yediyurappa would be replaced soon as the party high command was fed-up with him.
Besides this, Yatnal had also maintained that the next BJP CM will be from the north-Karnataka region.
The 78-year-old veteran leader is known for his iron grip-like command over his community, Lingayats, who form about 15 per cent of voters in the state.
Due to his clout within the community, he is perhaps the first leader in the BJP across the country under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister, Amit Shah to be appointed as the Chief Minister by violating the party's very own rule of compulsory retirement at the age 75 years.