Senior BJP leader Basanagouda Yatnal on Tuesday stirred a hornet’s nest by revealing the BJP high command is looking to replace Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa soon. He said Yediyurappa’s successor would be a leader from north Karnataka.
Yatnal went hammer and tongs at Yediyurappa for neglecting north Karnataka. “He has become the CM due to the votes of north Karnataka people. North Karnataka voted our MLAs in. A majority of MLAs are from north Karnataka,” he reminded Yediyurappa.
There are various moves to dislodge the CM and the BJP high command is also reportedly scouting for a replacement as Yediyurappa has crossed 75 years. But the party is in a dilemma as BSY is still the tallest Lingayat leader and has earned a cult status in his community —the largest in Karnataka.
Yediyurappa is also under greater pressure after Power TV, a private Kannada television channel, ran a series of programmes in September airing the audio of a sting operation allegedly done on a member of the CM’s family that suggested serious corruption in top deals.
There is also talks going on within the party he should be replaced by a younger Lingayat leader. The high command has put on hold the CM’s list of MLAs he wants in his cabinet due for an expansion. He has to accommodate the MLAs who switched loyalty that resulted in the BJP coming to power toppling the Congress-JD(S) govt of HD Kumaraswamy.
Yatnal had earlier asked Yediyurappa to sort out the regional imbalance in the Karnataka cabinet. He is also known for making controversial statements and was in the news earlier this year for calling centenarian freedom fighter and activist from Karnataka — HS Doreswamy — a ‘Pakistani agent’.