BS Yediyurappa announces his resignation as Karnataka chief minister
Putting an end to speculation, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday announced his resignation during a function celebrating the second-year anniversary of his government in Bengaluru.
“I have made the decision….I will go the Raj Bhavan, I will submit my resignation,” the 78-year-old said. “I’m not sad. I’m happy. I can’t thank in words Prime Minister Modi, Amit Shah, and (JP) Nadda to let me be chief minister even though I was over 75 years,” he said.
The speculation over his resignation began soon after his return from New Delhi on July 17. During his visit, he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda. Soon after the meeting, he denied the rumours of his resignation; however, two days later, he hinted at a possible change in leadership.
Talking to reporters on Thursday, he said that he will abide by the decision of the national high command. “Amit Shah and our national president (JP) Nadda have immense faith in me. As you know, no one above the age of 75 years is given any posts or positions by the party. But considering my work, the national leadership has given me the opportunity to be in power till 78. My aim is to strengthen the party and bring our government back to power once again,” Yediyurappa said.
Following this statement, several leaders of the Lingayat community had come out in Yediyurappa’s support. The Lingayat community forms around 16-17% of the state’s population and, over decades, has played a pivotal role in the Karnataka state elections. Some leaders in the community had warned the BJP of “consequences” if he is removed from power.
Yediyurappa has been chief minister of Karnataka for four terms. He was forced to quit as chief minister in 2011 after serving since 2008 when the Karnataka Lokayukta named him in a report on illegal mining in the state. He was also prosecuted by the Central Bureau of Investigation, but the case was quashed by a sessions court in Bengaluru. He was chief minister for a week in 2007 and for three days in 2018.