Facing a growing pile of complaints against its Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the BJP has sent a top leader to Bengaluru for talks with party leaders.
Arun Singh, the BJP’s Karnataka in-charge, will meet with party leaders ahead of the state unit’s core committee meeting. The UP-style “review meetings” have been set up at a time Mr Yediyurappa faces criticism and attacks from his own party colleagues.
Some BJP MLAs have been openly critical of the Chief Minister.
Among them is Mr Yediyurappa’s one-time close aide KS Eshwarappa. The Rural Development Minister, who is from Shivamogga district like Mr Yediyurappa, had even written to the Governor Vajubhai Vala alleging interference in his portfolios by the Chief Minister. The five-page letter accused Mr Yediyurappa of authoritarianism and serious lapses.
“He (Arun Singh) is a national leader. He will listen to everybody and take a decision. Whatever decision the national leader takes – the workers are discipline soldiers of the party,” Mr Eshwarappa told NDTV.
“In the last assembly election we didn’t get a full majority. We won 104 seats. The Congress had formed the government. That confusion continues till now. Later 17 MLAs of Janata Dal Secular, Congress joined the government and it happened,” the minister added.
Mr Yediyurappa, asked how confident he is about keeping the top job, has been saying that he will step down if his party leadership asks him to.
Days ago, he had received a ringing endorsement from Arun Singh. “Yediyurappa is the Chief Minister, he is doing a good job and will remain the Chief Minister. He has done a good job during the COVID situation, all the Ministers and the party- everyone has done a good job,” he had said on June 10.
He also said Mr Yediyurappa would complete his term. The Lingayat leader was the first BJP chief minister in Karnataka and remains the state unit’s most prominent face.
In response, Mr Yediyurappa said Mr Singh’s comments had given him “more strength” and that he would work for the development of the state in the two years he has in his term.
The 78-year-old, who took power in July 2019 after a series of resignations and defections from the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy, has been facing dissent for a while.
Last year, senior BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal had said Mr Yediyurappa will not remain Chief Minister for long, a prediction that was rubbished by the BJP’s state unit.
“(BS) Yediyurappa will complete his term and we will face the next election also under his leadership. Disciplinary action will be taken against those indulging in indiscipline,” state party chief Nalin Kumar Kateel had said.