Bengaluru: Senior BJP leader Basanagouda Yatnal Tuesday stirred a hornet’s nest by revealing that the BJP high command is looking to replace Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa very soon. He also said that Yediyurappa’s successor would be a leader from north Karnataka.
Yatnal went hammer and tongs at Yediyurappa for neglecting north Karnataka. “He has become CM due to the votes of north Karnataka people. North Karnataka voted our MLAs in. A majority of MLAs are from north Karnataka,” he reminded Yediyurappa.
There are various moves to dislodge the Chief Minister and the BJP highcommand is also reportedly scouting for a replacement as Yediyurappa has crossed 75 years. But the party is in a dilemma as Yediyurappa is still the tallest Lingayat leader and has earned a cult status in his community – the largest in Karnataka.
Yediyurappa is also under greater pressure after Power TV, a private Kannada television channel, ran a series of programmes in September airing the audio of a sting operation allegedly done on a member of the Chief Minister’s family that suggested serious corruption in top deals.
There is also talk going on within the party that he should be replaced by a younger Lingayat leader.
The highcommand has also put on hold the Chief Minister’s list of MLAs that he wants in his cabinet which is due for an expansion. He has to accommodate the MLAs who switched loyalty that resulted in the BJP coming to power toppling the Congress-JD(S) government of HD Kumaraswamy.
Yatnal had earlier asked Yediyurappa to sort out the regional imbalance in the Karnataka cabinet. He is also known for making controversial statements and was in the news earlier this year for calling centenarian freedom fighter and activist from Karnataka — HS Doreswamy — a ‘Pakistani agent‘.