Facing backlash, CM stopped speaking about on Lingayat issue: Yeddyurappa
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa said on Sunday that chief minister Siddaramaiah had gone silent on the Lingayat religion issue after facing a backlash from the community.
“Siddaramaiah divided Lingayats to stop me from becoming chief minister. But he’s been silent about it for three months because he has seen the backlash,” Yeddyurappa said at an interaction with the press here.
Yeddyurappa said it was clear that the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah was helping sway opinion in favour of the party ahead of the May 12 elections. “They said I should travel separately because that way we can cover more constituencies,” he said.
Expressing confidence over the BJP’s chances in the elections, Yeddyurappa said the party would comfortably get around 150 seats. “On Thursday, May17, I will be sworn in as the next chief minister,” he said.
Hinting at discord in the Congress, the former chief minister said it was clear that Siddaramaiah, state Congress president G Parameshwara and leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge could not get along. “This is the reason they have not been seen together in a while,” he said.
On the campaigning by mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, Yeddyurappa said he had not expressed any wish to contest and was campaigning of his own accord. “There are no cases against Somashekhara and Karunakara Reddy,” he said, about the two brothers of Janaradhana who have been given BJP tickets.
Yeddyurappa had shared a stage with Janardhana Reddy in Molkalmuru on April 22, when B Sriramulu filed his nomination for the constituency. Yeddyurappa said he had forgotten the animosity he had with Reddy in the interests of the state. “It is true that I shared a stage with him at a public function, but that was before Shah said he wasn’t part of the party. But I’ll keep that in mind henceforth,” he said. Shah had said in Mysuru on March 31 that the BJP had no relationship with Reddy.
When asked why the party had failed to field a single Muslim candidate in the 224 seats in the state, Yeddyurappa said candidates were chosen on the basis of the ability to win. “Even in 2008, we had not fielded any Muslims. But when we come to power I will announce programmes for them,” he said.
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