Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has cancelled events scheduled for July 26, the day he completes two years in office, further adding to speculation that his exit from the top post was imminent. The 78-year-old on Wednesday called off a BJP legislature party meeting and postponed the lunch and dinner planned for his staff and MLAs on July 25. He then topped it off with a tweet appealing to his partymen to "not indulge in protest and indiscipline".
State lawmaker V Sunil Kumar told Times of India that the party meeting had been cancelled due to 'unforeseen developments', adding that he had been told to inform MLAs that the July 25 dinner had been cancelled.
In what is being seen as a subtle message to the BJP leadership, the Chief Minister tweeted on Wednesday, "I am privileged to be a loyal worker of BJP. It is my utmost honour to serve the party with the highest standards of ethics & behaviour. I urge everyone to act in accordance with party ethics & not indulge in protests/indiscipline that is disrespectful & embarrassing for the party," the Chief Minister tweeted on Wednesday. This comes amid weeks of speculation of his exit from the top post in the state and days after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior ministers in Delhi.
Yediyurappa's Delhi visit came amid growing factionalism in the Karnataka BJP with many leaders openly speaking out against the chief minister over the alleged 'over interference of Vijayendra (his son) in administrative matters. The party leadership has, however, been denying all speculation of problems within the party.
While in Delhi, the Chief Minister had said, "There is no truth in it. Not at all. Not at all. Not at all." He said the same after flying back to Bengaluru. Contrary to the CM's statement, last month MLA Arvind Bellad and minister C P Yogeshwar had visited New Delhi to convey dissatisfaction with Yediyurappa's way of managing things. Another BJP leader and MLC AH Vishwanath had said the CM has “lost the spirit” to run the government and “dynastic politics have become prevalent in the state.”
After meeting Union Health Minister Amit Shah in Delhi, Yediyurappa said he has been asked to work hard to come back to power in the state. "Home Minister Amit Shah said that'll win 100% in UP and in Karnataka we have a bright future. He said to take the responsibility of strengthening the party in Karnataka. I assure you I will not step back and will take complete responsibility," he told the media after meeting the minister, ANI reported.
Assembly elections due in the state in 2023 and Yediyurappa has been ruling since in 2019, since he took over from the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition.Yesterday, he met mutt chiefs, which analysts say again was a hint to the party that he had the support of religious heads too.
Yeddiyurappa belongs to Banajiga sub-sect of Lingayat community, which comprises around 20% of Karnataka's population and is largely seen as the support base of the BJP. Many Lingayat leaders have spoken in his favour lately, warning the BJP against any move to remove Yediyurappa