Bengaluru, June 18: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa seems to have won yet another round in the battle for power as the BJP high command has indicated that he will continue in office.
The party high command has also decided to take strong action against Karnataka unit leaders who openly aired their views against the CM.
Smelling a win, Yediyurappa ruled out any political crisis, even as the rumblings within the ruling BJP have come out in the open during party's national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Arun Singh's visit to the state. He said "these people" who are making statements against him were not even allowed to meet with the party's Karnataka in-charge when he visited the state.
"There is no political crisis at all... What is happening is just because one or two people are saying something in the media, it is creating misunderstanding... These one or two people speaking against me are not new, they have been doing it since the beginning and it is getting highlighted," Yediyurappa said Friday.
Earlier, Singh and state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel met over 50 MLAs to elicit their opinion about the government’s performance. He met five ministers, including tourism minister CP Yogeeshwara who has openly expressed his displeasure about Yediyurappa and his son BY Vijayendra.
Interestingly, Singh did not meet MLAs Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Arvind Bellad and a dozen other MLAs, at the forefront of dissidence, indicating that the party highcommand was backing BSY. There were reports that Singh refused to meet Yatnal due to his tirade against the CM despite repeated warnings. Yatnal, however, clarified on Facebook that he hadn’t sought an appointment to meet Singh.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka categorically said that Yediyurappa will remain the head of the government in Karnataka.
"There is no change in leadership. BS Yediyurappa will continue as Chief Minister. No MLA is talking about this. There are only one or two of them and we will take strict action within a few days," ANI quoted Ashoka.
Indicating that the party high command is upset at the open defiance against the Chief Minister, Arun Singh told ANI that the party will "definitely take action against whoever speaks against the party. There are just two-three people who are speaking against the party. If you want to speak, speak against Congress's failure and about good work done by PM Modi and Yediyurappa's governments."
Two MLAs - Arvind Bellad and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal – had led a vicious campaign against BSY and wanted him to be replaced. MLC AH Vishwanath had joined the chorus alleging that BSY’s son and party vice-president BY Vijayendra was interfering with the administration and that corruption was rampant in an irrigation project.
Vishwanath had also said “It’s better to replace Yediyurappa with another Lingayat chief. Given the age and health factors, involvement of family members in governance and son’s interference in all departments, no minister is happy.”
The Chief Minister said the party's high command will decide on action against Vishwanath.