In emotional speech, Yediyurappa recalls ‘trial by fire’

Outgoing Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa breaks down as he speaks at the Vidhana Soudha on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Outgoing Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa may have insisted that he was exiting the post happily, but he was unable to hide his emotions during his speech at the Banquet Hall on Monday.

For the most part of the last couple of days, as speculation was rife that the BJP central leadership was set to replace the ageing Lingayat leader, he had offered to resign if the high command chose to ask him, sending a subtle message to his followers and the party that he would not do so voluntarily.

The 78-year-old leader, in a speech marking the second anniversary of his government — and one that also turned out to be a farewell speech — was unable to hold his emotions in and broke down more than once. He traced his political career and reminded everyone of his contributions to the party’s growth. He also made no bones about his uncomfortable relationship with the central leadership as he said that he had passed “trial by fire” at each stage. Recalling his bumpy ride into the office after an ‘Operation Kamala’ triggered the collapse of the Janata Dal(S)-Congress coalition, he obliquely expressed his displeasure towards the high command.

“I had to face a lot of challenges and passed through trial by fire at each stage. The high command did not allow me to form the Cabinet for one and a half months despite floods and rains in Karnataka. I had to roam around [the State] like a madman. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a challenge in the last year and a half,” he said.

In the same breath, during his over-20 minute speech, he also thanked the central leadership for making him Chief Minister, bypassing the informal 75-year age rule for party leaders.

Later, at Raj Bhavan, where he formally tendered his resignation, he painstakingly responded to a volley of questions over the circumstances that led to his resignation and tried to convince everyone that the decision, which brings down the curtains down on his over four-decade-old political career, was to give a chance to a new person to helm the government. He, however, did not elaborate on the chronology of events that ultimately led to his ouster.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 10:47:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/in-emotional-speech-yediyurappa-recalls-trial-by-fire/article35551055.ece

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