CM sends mixed signals to BJP, as seers continue to offer support

Siddalinga Swami of Siddaganga Mutt addressing a delegation of seers at Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s residence in Bengaluru on Wendesday.  

Even as Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers continue to make a beeline for the Chief Minister’s residence to express support, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who is learnt to have expressed willingness to resign during his recent trip to New Delhi, has been sending mixed signals to the party over the last two days.

Amidst speculations that the legislature party meeting he had earlier called on July 26, the second anniversary of the government, could become a platform for his exit, the Chief Minister cancelled not only the meet, but also a dinner for MLAs on its eve. This is being seen as the Chief Minister’s attempt to buy time.

More than 100 Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers expressed their unconditional support to the Chief Minister on Wednesday, prominent among them Siddalinga Swami of Siddaganga Mutt, Tumakuru. “We wish the Chief Minister completes his full term, as during his previous stint he had to resign midway. The seers unequivocally support his continuation,” said Siddalinga Swami, who met the Chief Minister at his residence.

Several other seers even threatened the BJP high command of the community’s ire against the party if they replaced Mr. Yediyurappa. Sangana Basava Swami of Kottur Veerashaiva Shivayoga Mandir saw in it an RSS conspiracy. “In Maharashtra, Marathas brought the BJP to power but the party installed a Brahmin as the Chief Minister. We suspect the same pattern may repeat in the State.”

The mobilisation of support for Mr. Yediyurappa from Veerashaiva-Lingayat seers and the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, cutting across party lines, is learnt to have made the party leadership anxious. “The Lingayat vote base is key for the party’s prospects in the State and it is not ready to antagonise the community. The party wants to effect generational change in a peaceful manner and give Mr. Yediyurappa an honourable exit,” a senior leader of the party said. However, the Chief Minister seems to be sending out mixed signals to both the community and the party, not revealing what he has up his sleeve, a senior party strategist said.

A source close to Mr. Yediyurappa said that even to those close to him, it was not clear what was on his mind — whether he wanted to continue in office or he was trying to negotiate modalities of exit, such as the next choice of Chief Minister and political role for his sons.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 10:31:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cm-sends-mixed-signals-to-bjp-as-seers-continue-to-offer-support/article35455051.ece

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