Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has said he is unsure of his position four days from now. “There is an event on July 26 on the completion of two years of our government here. After this, I will follow whatever [BJP president] JP Nadda will decide,” said Yediyurappa, who has been struggling to ward off speculation about his exit ever since he returned from Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“You all know that two months ago I had said I would resign to make way for someone else. Whether I am in power or not, it is my duty to bring back the BJP to power. I urge party workers and seers to cooperate,” Yediyurappa told the media. He said so far he had not been asked to step down.
“When the directions come, I’ll quit and work for the party,” he said, adding, “Let’s see what happens on the 25th”.
“I will be chief minister for as long as you say. When you say no I will work for the state. I am going to check roads and storm drains. I will do my duty till the last minute,” he said. Asked to name a successor, he refused.
Yediyurappa (78), the BJP’s first and only CM in the south, had so far officially denied that there was any talk of his exit.
The speculation about his replacement gained momentum when he took a chartered flight to Delhi last Friday (July 16) for meetings with the PM and others in the party.
His return to the state saw him holding a series of meetings, including the one with influential Lingayat seers. Yediyurappa belongs to the same caste. The Lingayats form a sizeable vote-bank for the BJP, and have strongly supported Yediyurappa over the years.
Two Lingayat priests on Wednesday warned against changing the CM and a similar appeal came, unusually, even from an opposition Congress leader from the Lingayat community.
Last evening, the CM had put out tweets calling himself a “loyal BJP worker” and urging his supporters not to “indulge in protests and indiscipline that is disrespectful and embarrassing for the party”.
A section of party MLAs and ministers have demanded that Yediyurappa should be removed as the CM. State Tourism Minister CP Yogeeshwara had recently said instead of the Chief Minister, his son had been ruling and controlling the ministries.