Bengaluru: A red-faced and fuming Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday threatened to resign from his post after a seer belonging to the Panchamsali sect of Lingayats, and less than half his age, demanded that BJP MLA Murugesh Nirani be inducted into the cabinet failing which he would face the wrath of the community.
Yediyurappa is from the Lingayat community that has a large base in Karnataka.
With the CM sitting next to him at the event of the Panchamsali sect in Harihar in north Karnataka, Swami Vachanand told a large gathering that “Murugesh Nirani has stood with you like a rock. Induct him into the cabinet, otherwise the Panchamsali Lingayats will abandon their support to you.”
What followed was a public spat. Already under immense pressure to expand his Cabinet and accommodate over a dozen rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs, Yediyurappa lost his cool. An agitated CM immediately got up and shouted at the Swami telling him, ‘Don’t threaten me. You can advise but don’t threaten.”
The Swami was taken aback. Yediyurappa was than about to walk out of the meeting saying “If this is how you talk, I will leave right away. I do not want to be here.
I cannot work as per your demands. How can you threaten me? You can give me suggestions, but I will not be threatened like this. I am not addicted to power. I will resign and walk away rather than falling prey to threats.”
Taken aback by the CM’s outburst, Swami Vachanand tried to calm Yediyurappa and the crowd. A highly irritated CM then turned his ire at Murgesh Nirani.
The seer toned down the demand and requested to accommodate Nirani.
When his turn to speak came, Yediyurappa returned the discourtesy to seer. Pointing a finger at him he said: “Understand my situation and limitations.
I am Chief Minister today thanks to the sacrifice made by 17 lawmakers who resigned.” And then lacing his speech with sarcasm, the CM said “For the next three years I will sit with the seer and seek his suggestions on how to run the government.”