Amid speculations about a leadership change in Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday said he will continue in the top post as long as the BJP high command has confidence in him and he had no confusion about it.
"As long as the Delhi high command has confidence in me, I will continue as the Chief Minister. The day they will say they don't want me, I will resign and work day and night for the development of the state," Yediyurappa said in response to a question on attempts to replace him.
While speaking to reporters, Yediyurappa said: "I'm in no confusion. They (high command) have given me an opportunity, I'm trying beyond my strength to utilise the opportunity for good. Rest is left for the high command."
"I will not criticise anyone. I won't agree that there is no alternate person. There will always be alternate persons in the state and the country, so I won't agree that there are no alternate persons in Karnataka, but until the high command has confidence in me I will continue as the Chief Minister," he added.
However, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwathnarayan on Sunday ruled out leadership change.
This is possibly the first time that the 78-year old Lingayat strongman has spoken in detail on the issue of leadership change and regarding an alternate leader to replace him in the state BJP, ever since speculations began in this regard.
Speculations have been rife for some time now that efforts were on, within the ruling BJP to exert pressure for unseating Yediyurappa.
The recent visit by state Tourism Minister C P Yogeeshwara and Hubballi-Dharwad West MLA Arvind Bellad to Delhi, reportedly with an intention to meet the high command and express the feelings of some legislators against Yediyurappa's style of functioning and request them to rein in the Chief Minister, had given credibility to such speculation.
"There is no question of him (CM Yediyurappa) stepping down. No such discussions are happening. He only made a statement that he is willing to abide by whatever decision the party takes as he is a disciplined soldier of party," Dr CN Ashwathnarayan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
(With inputs from PTI)