BS Yediyurappa said on Sunday he will continue as chief minister of Karnataka as long as the BJP central leadership had confidence in him.
The CM’s statement came amid speculation about a leadership change in the state.
“The day they will say they don’t want me, I will resign and work day and night for the development of the state,” Yediyurappa said in response to a question on attempts to replace him.
“I’m in no confusion. They [high command] have given me an opportunity, I’m trying beyond my strength to utilise the opportunity for good. Rest is left to the high command.”
Responding to a question on “alternate leadership” to him, Yediyurappa said, “I will not criticise anyone. I won’t agree that there is no alternate person. There will always be alternate persons in the state and the country, so I won’t agree that there are no alternate persons in Karnataka, but until the high command has confidence in me I will continue as the chief minister.”
It was the first time the 78-year old had spoken in detail on the issue. Speculation has been rife that efforts were on within the ruling BJP to replace the Lingayat strongman.
The recent visit by state Tourism Minister CP Yogeeshwara and Hubballi-Dharwad West MLA Arvind Bellad to Delhi, reportedly with an intention to meet the high command and express the feelings of some legislators against Yediyurappa’s style of functioning, had given credibility to such speculation.
Also, citing the government’s handling of the COVID crisis and alleged instances of corruption, a few MLAs were said to be pushing for convening a legislature party meeting.
However, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel and Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi had ruled out leadership change and said Yediyurappa will complete his term.
Several legislators considered close to the CM also rallied around him questioning the need for such a change.
Yediyurappa’s son and state BJP vice-president BY Vijayendra had recently visited Delhi and met top party leaders including national president JP Nadda and had reportedly requested to rein in dissidents.