Suspense continues over the political future of veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yediyurappa as he completes two years of his fourth term as Karnataka Chief Minister on July 26.
The 78-year-old leader kept people guessing on July 25 by hinting that he was waiting for a word from BJP's central leadership in Delhi.
Sources said Yediyurappa may resign on July 26, when his government completes two years in office. Earlier when asked about his future, Yediyurappa said he would take an appropriate decision once he receives directions from the party high command
“Tomorrow morning, there will be an event to mark the second anniversary of the government. I would be talking about our achievements over the last two years at the event. After that what happens, you will come to know,” he said on July 25.
READ: Fresh trouble for Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa, disgruntled BJP MLAs seek his ouster
Amid speculations about change in guard in Karnataka, state minister Murugesh Nirani arrived in the national capital on July 25 to meet BJP leaders, according to the news agency PTI
The visit assumes significance because Nirani, the Minister for Mines, who hails from the Lingayat community like Yediyurappa is seen as one of the front runners for the post of chief minister along with BJP general secretary CT Ravi, Union minister Pralhad Joshi and Karanataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Joshi has, however, denied changes of him becoming the Chief Minister.
"I congratulate BS Yediyurappa Ji for completing 2 years as CM today. He has done good work. He will continue to guide Karnataka & BJP... It is being reported in the news media. I can't say much on this matter," BJP General Secretary CT Ravi said, according to news agency ANI.
I congratulate BS Yediyurappa Ji for completing 2 years as CM today. He has done good work. He will continue to guide Karnataka & BJP... It is being reported in the news media. I can't say much on this matter: BJP General Secretary CT Ravi on change of CM in Karnataka pic.twitter.com/AMemsDQON9
— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2021
Yediyurappa’s replacement was suggested by the party leadership during his recent visit to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J P Nadda, among others, according to the sources.
Yediyurappa had, however, denied a leadership change after his return to Karnataka from New Delhi. But an audio clip leaked on July 18 had led to political buzz again on the leadership issue.
Also, read: Politics | It’s BS Yediyurappa vs BJP’s central leadership in Karnataka
On July 25, BJP president J P Nadda praised Yediyurappa and dismissed suggestions of a crisis in Karnataka.
“He (Yediyurappa) has done good work. Karnataka is running well. Yediyurappaji is handling things in his own way,” Nadda said in Goa.
Yediyurappa said that Nadda’s words of appreciation for his government were not linked to his decision to resign
Sources, however, said Yediyurappa has been asked to go by the party's high command over his age, health concerns, and the need for an image makeover for the BJP government. He also faces allegations of corruption levelled against his family members.
Also, read: BJP faces a Catch-22 situation in Karnataka
The central leadership, sources said, hopes that Yediyurappa will not create any hurdles for the party this time unlike in 2012 when he severed links with the BJP to float the Karnataka Janata Paksha.
Yediyurappa has been CM of Karnataka for four terms. He was forced to quit as CM in 2011 after serving since 2008 when the Karnataka Lokayukta named him in a report on illegal mining in the state. He was also prosecuted by the CBI but the case was quashed by a sessions court in Bengaluru. He has been the CM for a week in 2007 and for three days in 2018.