Those who went to Delhi sent back with an answer, says K’taka CM Yediyurappa
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday said that his only priority was to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and had no reason to indulge in other matters.
“I only have Covid in front of me. Controlling Covid and people’s welfare are my only priorities.If someone went to someplace, they have been sent back with an answer,” Yediyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday.
The statement comes a day after at least two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including one minister, went to Delhi, purportedly to meet the top brass in connection with a possible change in leadership in the state.
The clamour for a leadership change in Karnataka has grown louder with increasing instances of conflict within the BJP and the Yediyurappa-led government. The defeat in the Maski bypolls and wafer thin margin of victory in Belagavi Lok Sabha by-elections has also gone against the 78-year-old chief minister.
At least two BJP legislators aware of the developments indicated a possible change post the calming of the pandemic. Among the leaders who had rushed to Delhi was CP Yogeshwara, member of the Karnataka legislative council, and minister for tourism, ecology and environment. Yogeshwara claimed on Thursday that he went to Delhi “for personal reasons”.
“I keep going to Delhi and can’t tell everything to the media. I will share more in the coming days,” he said in Bengaluru.
However, he did reiterate that the BJP in Karnataka works like a coalition government with the other two political parties -- an apparent reference to Congress and Janata Dal (Secular)-- appearing to be in power. “The day I became an MLC also I said that it does not appear as a pure BJP government. It appears to be a three-party government,” he said.
In 2018 assembly elections, Yogeshwara lost his seat against HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) in Channapatna. However, he was able to secure a seat in the legislature, apparently for his role in securing the support of the 17 turncoat legislators who defected to the BJP, leading to the collapse of the Kumaraswamy-led JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state.
Meanwhile, other ministers in the BJP tried to rally behind Yediyurappa, dismissing any speculation of a leadership change. MP Renukacharya, the BJP legislator from Honnali and political secretary to the chief minister, came down heavily on Yogeshwara for his apparent attempt to seek a leadership change.