‘No question of leadership change’: Karnataka deputy CM Ashwathnarayan on replacing BS Yediyurappa
Amid the buzz over a possible leadership change in Karnataka, the state’s deputy chief minister CN Ashwathnarayan on Thursday rubbished the speculations. “At present, there is no question of leadership discussion happening. We are not aware of these things,” news agency ANI quoted the deputy CM as saying.
When asked about chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s remarks about JP Nadda’s decision expected on July 25, Ashwathnarayan said that he was not aware of the context in which the CM made those remarks. “I don't know in what context the CM made that statement. We need to hear from him,” the deputy CM said.
Earlier in the day, Yediyurappa said that he would abide by any decision the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) high command would make. He also said that an event would be organised on July 26 to mark the completion of two years of his government in Karnataka.
“Based on the instructions that the central leaders will give me on July 25, I will begin my work from July 26. We have a special programme on July 26 to observe the two years of our government. After attending that programme, I will abide by the instructions from the national president,” news agency PTI quoted the chief minister as saying.
However, he also said that the BJP high command has not asked him to quit yet. "Till now I have not been asked to resign. When the directions come, I will quit and work for the party. I have not recommended any name. The party high command has not said anything to me. Let us see what will happen after July 26," ANI quoted Yediyurappa as saying.
The 78-year-old leader cautioned anyone against issuing statements on his behalf. “No one should give any statements in my favour or indulge in any kind of protest. It is not appropriate. I appeal for cooperation and refrain from indulging in such things,” he said. Meanwhile, Yediyurappa’s comments were largely perceived as hints of him possibly quitting the state’s top post.
Many in the BJP, including state in-charge Arun Singh, have regularly denied about a leadership change in Karnataka ever since such speculations arose. Notably, Singh was asked by reporters in Delhi on Thursday about the party’s Karnataka unit and he said, “We will sit together someday and discuss,” a news report by PTI showed. “All our party workers, ministers and legislators are united and there are no differences of any kind,” he added.