From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Jul 22: In an apparent indication that the end of his rule is near, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday virtually threw in the towel and affirmed that he will abide by the BJP national high command’s dictates.
Though there were ample indications that the Chief Minister was all set to announce his resignation by July 26, the second anniversary of his rule, to pave the way for the installation of his successor, Yediyurappa virtually started sending strong signals that he would stick to office by first cancelling the planned dinner with the party legislators on July 25 and also another one for the bureaucrats and staff as well as the State BJP Legislature Party meeting on July 26 through his sudden decisions of cancelling all the commitments.
Apart from the abrupt and inexplicable cancellation of the BJPLP meeting as well as dinner for party legislators and officials cum staff, Yediyurappa started holding confabulations with his trusted senior ministerial colleagues and also meeting over 100 pontiffs of the politically powerful Lingayat Mutts from across the State, including the leading Siddaganga, Suttur and other Mutts in his official residence of Cauvery.
However, despite all the cancellations, Yediyurappa kept on insisting that he will abide by the Central party’s decisions even while profusely thanking all the Lingayat seers for their unstinted support to him and the government.
Will he resign or won’t he resign were the hot themes of debate in political circles while some saw it as an attempt to ensure that the political future of his two sons – B Y Raghavendra, the Shivamogga BJP MP, and B Y Vijayendra, State BJP Vice President – are secure. There were also rumours that Yediyurappa was bargaining to ensure that Vijayendra was anointed as the State BJP President, which could come true as the BJP leadership in the State and in Delhi are convinced that Yediyurappa is the lynchpin of securing the wholehearted backing from the dominant Lingayat community.
What made matters worse was the open remarks from some of the most vocal swamijis that the BJP would be wiped out in the next elections if Yediyurappa was not allowed to stay in power till the end of the term of the present assembly.
Amidst all these speculations and confusing signals, the 78-year-old Yediyurappa on Thursday came out with categorical statement that he will abide by the decisions on the party’s Central leadership on his continuation.
The Chief Minister warmly thanked the large number of Lingayat seers for blessing him and extending support over the last two days and remarked that the BJP has not allowed anyone above 75 years to be in power but had made an exception in his case.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party President J P Nadda have shown special interest and given me the power," he told reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday.
His statement comes in the backdrop of speculation over his continuation as the chief minister even as the Lingayat-Veerashaiva mutt heads and All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha delegation meeting him over the last two days urging him to continue.
Veiled threats of the community, which backs the BJP, of abandoning the party had been issued to the BJP if it forcibly removed Yediyurappa.
“I will complete two years in office on July 25 and I will abide by the direction given by the Central leadership. I will stick to the direction issues by the BJP high command on July 25,’’ he declared which is seen as an indication of his resignation.
Stating that he will focus on strengthening the party organisation, he appealed to the party workers not to get confused due to prevailing situation.
"I thank the Mutt heads from across the state for having blessed me. My aim is to strengthen the party in the coming days and bring it back to power,’’ Yediyurappa said.
The Chief Minister appealed to party workers not to protest or issue statements in this connection and said that he will abide by whatever decision the high command takes on his continuation in power.