Over the last few days, rumours about Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's impending resignation has been making the rounds. Speaking to the media, he had recently laughed off suggestions about an upcoming leadership change. However, disgruntlement in the ranks and recent meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP officials have fuelled speculation. But as the murmurs gain momentum, he has received support from some unlikely quarters.
Former Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday said there was no "chance" of leadership change in Karnataka as the BJP central leadership was pleased with the developmental activities and the handling of COVID-19 in the state. "I don't think there is any truth in the ongoing discussion about the leadership change because these are the decisions which are taken by our central level leaders keeping in view the political situation in the states," the former Chief Minister said.
"It was Yeddiruppa who first brought BJP to power in Karnataka. Some conspired to remove him since he would not be a chamcha. Without Him BJP could not return power in the State. Only upon his return to BJP could the party win again. Why repeat the same mistake?" cautioned BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.
Yediyurappa, a Lingayat strongman, has dismissed talks about leadership change as baseless. A large number of Lingayat pontiffs have called on Yediyurappa and extended their support and even cautioned about political fallout for the BJP if he was removed from the Chief Minister's post.
On Tuesday, more than 30 seers of different mutts met him to extend their support. "Earlier too they did not let him complete his term. Even now this pain is felt by one and all. If BS Yediyurappa is changed, then the BJP will be destroyed in the state. This is not being said only by us but it's the voice of the people as well," Dingaleshwar Swamiji said.
Similar sentiments have also been expressed by Congress leader MB Patil. BJP may face the wrath of Lingayats if they ill treat tall leader BS Yediyurappa. BJP should value the contribution of Yediyurappa and treat him with dignity," he tweeted.