Will Yediyurappa get high command’s ‘message’ on Sunday?
Amid speculation over change of leadership in State, his son B.Y. Vijayendra, BJP State vice-president, has gone on a sudden visit to Delhi
All eyes are on the Bharatiya Janata Party high command on the eve of the second anniversary of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at the helm, as he has indicated that he is expecting “a message” from central leaders on Sunday. It is widely speculated that he will possibly be asked to step down.
Close on the heels of his recent Delhi visit during which he met party central leaders, Mr. Yediyurappa had surprised everyone by saying that he is waiting for the high command’s message to be communicated on Sunday. “I will abide by the party central leaders’ decision and get on with my work of strengthening the party from July 26,” he had said, indicating that he would quit on July 26 if the high command so wishes.
However, there is continued speculation of him trying to work out modalities of exit and also impress upon the central leadership to provide suitable accommodation to his son and BJP State vice-president B.Y. Vijayendra. This was further strengthened owing to Mr. Vijayendra’s sudden visit to Delhi on Friday night.
Though Mr. Yediyurappa, who has a considerable hold on his community of Lingayats, has clearly indicated that the transition of power would be a smooth by declaring that he would abide by the decision of the party high command, Sunday is set to see a show of strength by a section of seers from the community. The convention being held at Bengaluru Palace Grounds is expected to be attended by about 1,000 seers, some from even non-Lingayat communities too.
However, unlike his previous stint when the entire community and its leaders stood solidly with Mr. Yediyurappa when he had to quit abruptly in 2012, following a report on illegal mining, his close aides have already declared that they would abide by the decision of the party high command.
Still an enigma
The issue of leadership change has remained enigmatic even for his senior Cabinet colleagues and party functionaries as the central leadership is yet to communicate its decision to anyone. Mr. Yediyurappa is reportedly playing his cards close to his chest. This was evident with senior Minister K.S. Eshwarappa on Saturday stating that he did not know anything about the possibility of a leadership change.
Both Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Karnataka Mines Minister Murugesh Nirani, who are among the probables to succeed Mr. Yediyurappa, maintained that they were not aware of the possibility of a leadership change.
Mr. Yediyurappa has kept himself busy on Sunday as he is visiting the flood-hit border district of Belagavi to assess the damage and to review the relief works. Interestingly, as he assumed office in 2019, the State was ravaged by record rainfall and floods, particularly affecting northern districts. He had toured the districts then as a single-man Cabinet.