Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 16
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday again sparked off speculations of his exit.
Though the beleaguered CM, who has been at the receiving end of scathing attacks by disgruntled BJP leaders, denied any talk of change in leadership. Following his meeting with the PM, the 78-year-old was quoted as saying: “I don’t know anything about leadership change. During my discussion with PM Modi, I requested him to permit to carry out development works in the state”.
Notably, his arrival in Delhi along with his son BY
Meanwhile, Yeddiyurappa said he is returning to Bengaluru on Friday. While in Delhi, he is expected to meet senior BJP leaders, including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah. However, notes of discord in the Karnataka BJP continue getting louder with several leaders openly challenging his authority, facing little action from the party’s top brass.
BJP’s state in-charge, Arun Singh, in his last visit to the state, had told the warring MLAs to refrain from commenting on the party’s affairs in open, warning action against any violation of party discipline.
Sources say much of the anger against the CM stems from alleged interference in the administration by his son, BY Vijayendra. They add that the BJP leadership understands that continued restiveness may damage its prospects in the 2023 elections but to remove Yeddiyurappa is not so easy even though he is well past the unofficial 75-year age policy for ministers.
Credited with the first-ever saffron government in the south, the BJP stalwart belongs to the Lingayat community which accounts for 17 percent of the state population. He also enjoys strong links with RSS and any attempt to antagonise him may jeopardise the party. In 2012, he split the state unit and formed the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP). Though KJP won only six seats in the 2013 elections, Yeddiyurappa managed to get a vote share of 9.8 percent and restrict BJP to 40 seats in the 224-member Assembly.