Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Tuesday urged Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eswarappa to quit the Ministry and concentrate on strengthening the BJP in the state.

“With Assembly elections fast approaching, Eswarappa should work towards strengthening the party in the state as he continues to be state unit president,” the BJP strongman in Karnataka told reporters in Haveri.

Mr. Eswarappa joined the Jagadish Shettar Ministry in July 2012, holding the Revenue and Rural Development portfolios.

“Earlier when Eswarappa quit the Ministry to take up the party post, we all hailed his sacrifice. Now he should resign the ministerial post”, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

Mr. Eswarappa opted to take up the party post and resigned as Minister from the Yeddyurappa Ministry in 2010.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, who has been throwing barbs at his party and leaders alleging that there is a conspiracy by some leaders to oust him from the BJP, asserted that he will not leave the party.

On Monday, Mr. Yeddyurappa had blamed party leaders for his ouster as Chief Minister after a Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicted him, and claimed that people’s backing for him has only increased since then.

He had also told the public rally near Davangere that the BJP had come to power because of people’s support and he would again occupy the Chief Minister’s chair with their blessings.

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