Suspense continued on the possible change of guard in Karnataka with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa saying a decision on whether he will continue in office or not will be known by today, but asserted that he will continue to work for the BJP for the next 10-15 years.
The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman, the face of the BJP in the state in the past two decades, said this evening that he was yet to receive the "message" from the party's central leadership on whether he should continue in his post or quit.
He expressed confidence that the communication may come by tonight or will be known on Monday morning. Stating that he had offered to resign two months ago if the party so wished, he reiterated that he would continue in the post if the high command so desired and quit if they asked him to.
"I will work for the party day and night for the next 10- 15 years. Let there be no doubt about it", the Chief Minister said. He said he would speak about the achievements of his government at a function, as planned earlier, on Monday.
"After that, other things, you will come to know". Asked what he would do if the "message" does not come from the high command, Yediyurappa said: "I will take a decision then".
Earlier, speaking to reporters at the district headquarters town Belagavi, he reiterated that he would abide by the decision of the party's central leadership, and said he was content and satisfied and "will not cross the disciplinary line."
"I got most of the positions in the party, which no one else might have got in Karnataka, for which I express my gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda", the Chief Minister said.
Yediyurappa said he has the "lone target" of toiling for the next two years and bringing the BJP back to power in Karnataka, where assembly elections are due in 2023. He agreed with BJP national general secretary C T Ravi's statement that everyone in the BJP is an ordinary party worker and he would abide by the party's instruction.
"He is 100 per cent right. We will not exceed the disciplinary line. We have been following it and will do so in future as well", the Chief Minister said. In Panaji, BJP National President J P Nadda on Sunday praised Yediyurappa for his "good work".
"It is good, he has done a good job. Karnataka (government) is running smoothly. Yediyurappa is looking (managing) at things on his part," Nadda said in response to a question on Yediyurappa government completing two years in office and how he views his leadership. To a question that there seemed to be a political crisis in Karnataka, he said That is what you feel. We don't feel so."
Indicating that Monday might be his last day in office, Yediyurappa had recently said that based on the instructions the central leaders will give him on July 25, he will begin "his work" from July 26. His government will complete two years in office on July 26.
"There is no confusion. Nadda is our party's national president. As a party worker, it is my duty to abide by his directions. There is no connection between him praising the good work and other matters. Let's wait till today morning. After that I will take my decision," Yediyurappa said to a query.
To a question about him working actively, even as he expects directions on his future as CM, Yediyurappa said, "I have decided to work till the last minute. I'm ready to resign as and when they ask me to do so... once a message comes, if they ask me to continue, I will continue, or else will resign and get involved in party work."
Indicating that he would continue with his work until he hears from the central leadership, Yefiyurappa said he plans to visit flood and rain ravaged Karwar on Monday. Not willing to make any comments on who should be his successor, Yediyurappa said, "I'm not the one to decide about it.. it is for the high command to decide.
Earlier in the day, speaking in Belagavi, Yediyurappa had urged pontiffs not to hold any meeting in his support and that he has full confidence in PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national President J P Nadda and would abide by their decision.Scores of pontiffs on Sunday participated in a "maga conclave" in Bengaluru, in support of Yediyurappa, coinciding with the possible decision by the BJP central leadership on his exit.