Even after Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leaders have asked him to continue in his post, there is growing speculation that he is likely to resign on July 26. According to media reports, Yediyurappa has offered to resign on health grounds and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has even accepted his resignation.
The Chief Minister will complete the second year of its tenure on July 26 and has announced the convening of the BJP legislature party meeting on the same day. The meeting is significant since Yediyurappa has so far been reluctant to hold meetings even after there were reports of discontent in the ranks over his style of functioning and the alleged interference in administration by his son Vijayendra.
“It’s just a matter of time…He (Yediyurappa) wanted the party leadership to choose a successor but it will be with his consent,” The Indian Express quoted sources as saying.
"The central leadership seems to have left it to the Chief Minister to decide the time of his exit,” a senior party leader told The Indian Express.
However, Yediyurappa has dismissed news reports about his resignation as "not at all true". "The central leaders have asked me to continue as Chief Minister and strengthen the party. It is our duty to follow their instructions from time to time.There is no question of leadership change," the 79-year-old said.
The Chief Minister was speaking to reporters on his return from Delhi, where he had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president J P Nadda during his two-day visit.
Yediyurappa said he held discussions with central leaders on issues ranging from politics to the Mekedatu balancing reservoir across Cauvery river, which is a bone of contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. He added that the party has given him the charge and he will work to strengthen the party by taking everyone along.
"In a way, this was a very successful meeting. They have only one expectation from us, which is winning the assembly election with a majority, winning maximum members of Parliament and special emphasis on strengthening the organisation," Yediyurappa said.
He said he has assured them (central leaders) that in the coming days he will make sincere efforts to live up to the expectations of the party high command to further strengthen the party base in the state.
(With PTI inputs)