'Not quitting', say Karnataka ministers who had defected to BJP

·3-min read

Bengaluru, Jul 22 (PTI) As their meeting with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday sparked speculation that they are set to quit, Ministers, who had joined the BJP after quitting the Congress-JD(S) coalition in 2019, clarified it had nothing do with resignation and they will abide by the high command's decision on the leadership change issue.

As at least six of these ministers went into the Chief Minister's cabin after the cabinet meeting with some papers, local channels were abuzz with speculation that they are about to tender their resignation, either as part of pressure tactics to force the high command to continue with Yediyurappa at the helm or worried about their future if the CM is replaced.

However, emerging from the meeting, Health Minister K Sudhakar, responding to reporters queries, asked 'Why should we resign? We have come to BJP accepting Yediyurappa's leadership and party's principles and ideology, and we will abide by the party high command's decision.' 'After the cabinet meeting my colleagues and I, as usual, met the Chief Minister at his chamber and came out.I inquired with the Chief Minister about the ongoing developments (about his exit), to which he said- he will abide by the direction the high command will give him on July 25 and let's build the party together,' he said.

Rubbishing reports that they are worried about their future in BJP without Yediyurappa at the helm, Sudhakar, flanked by Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj, said 'We have worked with the Chief Minister so long, it is being humane to stay with him for as long as he is there.' Asked if they will be going to Delhi to meet the high command, he said, if necessary they will go.

Agriculture Minister B C Patil, who was also part of the group that met the Chief Minister, showing the letter in his hand, asked 'is this the resignation? It is false and baseless information.No one has resigned and there is no need for it.' He also said that they are in no worry about losing the Ministership, if Yediyurappa steps down as the Chief Minister.

Municipal Administration Minister MTB Nagaraj said they had not taken any resignation letters to the CM as being reported by sections of media, and only discussed with him on some cabinet decisions, regarding some transfers, and release of funds for developmental works.

To a question whether the leadership change issue was discussed at the meeting, he said, 'no...we will abide by the high command's decision. If they ask for our resignation we are ready for it.' Seventeen MLAs had quit the Congress-JD(S) coalition which had led to the collapse of the H D Kumaraswamy-led government in 2019, and had paved the way for the BJP to come to power.

Sixteen of them had subsequently joined the BJP.

Most of them had won the bypolls in December that year on a BJP ticket, and 12 are currently Ministers in Yediyurappa's cabinet.

There seems to be nervousness among most of these Ministers as they had come to BJP trusting Yediyurappa's leadership, and without him they fear uncertainty about their future, sources said. PTI KSU RS BN BALA BN BALA

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