Amid speculations over replacing Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, hectic political activities are in full swing in Karnataka. BJP's national General Secretary in-charge of the state Arun Singh has started meeting leaders and legislators individually.
Singh, who landed in Bengaluru on Wednesday evening, had already held a meeting with Ministers along with Yediyurappa and state BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel. The individual meeting with legislators, MPs and leaders that was scheduled at the city's Kumarakrupa Guest House, was at the last minute shifted to state BJP office Jagannath Bhavan at Malleshwaram, in view of maintaining "secrecy" of the interaction and to avoid large number of workers from gathering considering COVID situation, sources said told news agency PTI.
Even as Singh is meeting legislators and leaders individually, activities were on in the camp that wants Yediyurappa to continue, to put forward their case before the national General Secretary and to send a message they were firmly behind the Chief Minister.
In what appeared to be a show of solidarity, several Ministers including Basavaraj S Bommai, J C Madhuswamy and S Angara and a host of legislators made a beeline to Chief Minister's residence, while 10 to 15 legislators met at Yediyurappa's political secretary M P Renukacharya's residence for breakfast, sources said. Legislators who met at Renukacharya's residence questioned the need for leadership change, while asserting that Yediyurappa will complete the term and will lead the party in the next assembly polls due in two years. They demanded action against those who are making public statements on the issue and creating confusion, sources added.
On the other hand, Hubli-Dharwad MLA Arvind Bellad, MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and others who are seen as a faction opposed to Yediyurappa, have reportedly held discussions regarding their strategy on Tuesday evening itself. Several BJP MLAs and ministers demanded that Yediyurappa should step down as chief minister. State Tourism Minister CP Yogeeshwara in a statement had said that instead of the Chief Minister, his son has been ruling and controlling the Ministries of Karnataka.
Meanwhile, another faction of MLAs who claims to be "neutral" and swears to abide by the party decision on the leadership issue are likely to use the opportunity of individual meetings to express their concerns on the functioning of the government and the party.
Amid all this, Arun Singh on Wednesday said that there are no differences in the party. "There are no differences in the party and we are united. Commendable work is being done under Chief Minister Yediyurappa's leadership. This meeting was only to strengthen the party, to promote good governance and schemes of the central government to the ground-level. Nothing else was discussed." "Our party workers have consistently been doing COVID relief work. I have come here to review that. We will also hold discussions over other issues like single-use plastic and upcoming programs like the International Yoga Day," added Singh.
Earlier, Chief Minister Yediyurappa had stated that he will resign from the post the day the party high command asks him to quit. Speaking to the media persons, he had said, "I will resign the day the party high command asks me to quit. I do not speak about the rumours and the speculation created by some of the ministers and legislators." "High command has given me the opportunity - I am trying to utilise it and I am trying to serve the people. I do not want to comment on the rumours of whoever speaks against me. If my high command wants me to resign, I will resign. I myself am involved in working for the development of the state," he had added.
For now, we will have to wait and watch if the saffron party replaces Yediyurappa as it did in Uttarakhand in March this year.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)