Karnataka: BJP rules out change in leadership; says will fight next polls under Yediyurappa

There has been speculation in recent times about possible leadership change


Ruling out any leadership change, the BJP's Karnataka unit on Wednesday said it will face the next election too under Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, and warned of action against indiscipline.

The assertion comes following a comment by senior BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal that Yediyurappa will not remain chief minister for long.

Facing flak from partymen, Yatnal has tried to defend his remarks saying he was functioning as a public representative with conscience and not motivated by ministerial aspirations.

"There is no question of chief minister change in the state, for the next three years Yediyurappa will remain the chief minister, " state BJP said in a tweet quoting its president Nalin Kumar Kateel. "Yediyurappa will complete his term and we will facethe next election also under his leadership. Disciplinary action will be taken against those indulging in indiscipline," he said.

Indicating a rebellion, Yatnal had on Monday said that Yediyurappa will not remain the chief minister for long and the high command has decided that his successor will be from the north Karnataka region.

The former Union minister had even accused the chief minister of taking all the development work to his home district of Shivamogga, while taking back the funds allocated to MLAs of other constituencies.

While Yediyurappa, not wishing to react to Yatnal's statement, has merely said he will talk to the disgruntled leader, several BJP leaders and ministers have hit out at him.

Continuing the attack against Yatnal, senior BJP leader and Rural Development Minister K.S. Eshwarappa termed his statements as "foolish" and urged the party state unit president to expel him immediately and there was no need to give any notice as he has given an open statement, which is an act of indiscipline.

"It has become a habit for some people to make such statements as it will attract media attention. At a recently held legislature party meeting where he (Yatnal) was present, the chief minister asked all legislators to share their concerns, and he was sitting with his mouth shut and now is giving statements," he said.

Amid attacks on him by partymen, Yatnal on his part has tried to defend himself. In a late night tweet, he said "I'm working as a public representative with conscience and by becoming the voice of the people for Karnataka's development. I have never bowed down before any one or indulged in skulduggery with a Ministerial aspiration. I'm not that type."

This is not the first time that Yatnal has expressed his displeasure against Yediyurappa. Claiming that he was upset regarding development of his constituency, Yatnal, while denying ministerial aspirations and rebellion against the 77-year-old chief minister, had in June stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were his leaders and Yediyurappa was "only the chief minister."

There has been speculation in some quarters in recent times about the possible change in leadership, considering Yediyurappa's age, but the BJP has strongly rejected it.


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