Bengaluru: Even as BJP leaders are discussing the possibility of replacing BS Yediyurappa for favouring defectors who helped him form a government, the Congress says it has ‘credible’ information that the CM would be removed from his post after the Bihar elections.
“I have accurate information that Yediyurappa will not remain the Chief Minister after the Bihar elections,” leader of opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said.
He was speaking to a local TV channel. When pressed further, he said “I have accurate information from New Delhi that he won’t remain the Chief Minister after Bihar elections. I don’t know if the BJP government will complete its term after Yediyurappa is made to resign. In case the government cannot continue, we are ready to fight elections,” he said.
Siddaramaiah’s statement comes in the backdrop of BJP MLA from Bijapur, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, saying that that Yediyurappa won’t be the CM for long and that a new candidate from North Karnataka would replace him.
“Many MLAs are unhappy with Yediyurappa as funds have not been allocated for their constituencies and it is true that Yediyurappa won’t remain the CM for long,” Siddaramaiah said.
There is massive speculation in Bengaluru that Yediyurappa would be asked to step down from his post to make way for his successor. Several BJP leaders from North Karnataka who were unhappy about being sidelined had met at a hotel in Hubballi to discuss the potential candidate for the Belagavi bye-polls on Wednesday. However, BJP sources said the leaders also discussed the issue of Yediyurappa’s successor and that the MLAs in Karnataka must “put pressure on the high command” to make a decision soon.
Yediyurappa is 78-years old and an exception to the general rule in the BJP where leaders above 75 years step aside and take on an advisory role. But he has been allowed to become the CM as he has massive control over the BJP’s vote bank – the Lingayats — in Karnataka. Sources said that the party does not want to take a decision which could be detrimental to the BJP in Karnataka as the party had witnessed such an instance in 2013 when Yediyurappa broke away and formed his own party.
“Senior leaders have been saying that the government will complete its term but they have not said that Yediyurappa will be the Chief Minister until the government’s term ends. We should wait for Bihar elections to get over. Ultimately, New Delhi leaders will decide,” a senior BJP leader was quoted in the media.
Though there are strident voices against Yediyurappa, the BJP high command is in a fix. Sources said that the party has been scouting for a candidate who could replace Yediyurappa, but the search seems to be getting nowhere.
“We are in a stalemate. The high command wants to appoint someone, who would not become bigger than the party as they don’t want to face a similar situation where one leader becomes so powerful. On the other hand, the high command also realises that if it allows Yediyurappa to nominate his successor, he would choose his son, which the party is not willing to accept,” a BJP leader was quoted in the media.
But BJP sources admit that if the party wins both the RR Nagar and Sira bye-polls, Yediyurappa’s invincible cloak will only get stronger and thicker and he may push for his son Vijayendra taking over the mantle from him. That is the last thing that the state and central BJP leaders want.
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