'Supreme leaders will decide': Pralhad Joshi on if he would replace Yediyurappa
Union minister Pralhad Joshi, whose name is doing the rounds as a successor of Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, on Saturday said no one has spoken to him about this and he was not aware that BS Yediyurappa has been asked to resign or not. Emphasising that he does not answer hypothetical questions with if and buts, Joshi said, "There is no high command in the BJP but national leadership. We got different leaderships from time to time. There was Rajnath Singh, after which Nitin Gadkari came, who was succeeded by Amit Shah and now J P Nadda is there. In the present situation, we have supreme leaders in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. They will decide."
Joshi, however, is aware of the speculation going on in the media. "No one has spoken to me about it (succeeding Yediyurappa). It's only the media, which is discussing it. As no one has spoken to me, there is no need to react to it," he said, as news agency PTI reported.
After refuting rumours of stepping down for weeks, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa has recently hinted that the party's national leadership might have some different role for him. If there is a shift in power in Karnataka, it will happen after July 26 following the event of the BJP government completing two years in Karnataka. Yediyurappa has also hinted that he is likely to get any instruction from the national leadership on July 25.
The speculative change in power in Karnataka will trigger a severe reaction from the Lingayat community as it has already warned that if Yediyurappa, Lingayat strongman, is removed from the CM's post, the party will have to risk losing the Lingayat community's support.
Seers of the Lingayat community who have recently met Yediyurappa will hold a convention in Bengaluru on July 25. "We will discuss the current situation in Karnataka. All seers have given their blessings to him (Yediyurappa). Every government should work on its shortcomings," Dingaleshwara Swami, Balehosur Mutt, told ANI.
Apart from Pralhad Joshi, few other names are also there in the guessing game that is going on in full swing after Yediyurappa met PM Modi, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh in Delhi last week. The list of the probables includes CT Ravi, BL Santosh, Murugesh Nirani, Arvind Bellad etc.
Pralhad Joshi has been the MP of Dharwad, a city in northwest Karnataka, since 2004. He had also served as the BJP's state unit president from July 2012 to January 2016.