Bengaluru, June 14: Just days after offering to quit as Chief Minister of Karnataka if the party bosses in Delhi wish so, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has won the crucial support of 17 Lingayat mutts in the state.
While his resignation offer was aimed to put the rebels in the party in place as the high command categorically ruled out any change ‘as of now’, Yediyurappa’s detractors have not given up, forcing BJP Karnataka in-charge Arjun Singh to make a three-day visit from June 16.
The support from the seers has come just days ahead of Singh’s visit and has further strengthened Yediyurappa’s standing in the state.
As speculations over a change in leadership in the state gained momentum, the seers of 17 Lingayat mutts in the state Monday issued a statement expressing their support to Yediyurappa.
Rudramuni of Shadakshara mutt said in the statement: "Yediyurappa was the main reason BJP grew in Karnataka. He is being cornered, harassed and caused (him) mental pain. We condemn this as seers. People should stop troubling him. The comments against the CM are not right; they are an insult not just to him but the whole Lingayat community”.
The statement also added: "It's not true that because of old age Yediyurappa can't do his duty. We need to remember Karunanidhi served as the CM of Tamil Nadu in a wheelchair. We support Yediyurappa and he should serve as the CM for the next two years."
The statement comes in the background of the Chief Minister's son BY Vijayendra meeting several Lingayat seers in what was termed a 'courtesy call'.
Meanwhile, BJP sources said Arjun Singh’s visit is aimed to provide a platform for ministers and MLAs to voice their concerns – mainly on how Vijayendra has emerged as a de facto CM and how Yediyurappa does not give them time or the funds to develop their constituencies.
As the clouds loom over Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister said he will continue in office for the next two years and there is nothing to worry about.
“I'll continue as CM for the next two years. Central leaders also have said the same and have confidence in me. I'll put in an honest effort for the development of the state,” he said.
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