Indicating that he is on his way out, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday broke his silence for the first time amid heightened buzz that his exit was on the cards and said he will abide by the BJP central leadership's decision.
The 78-year old Lingayat strongman also said that the party high command will give him directions on July 25 about his future as the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Yediyurappa's government will complete two years in office on July 26.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah (Home Minister) and our national President J P Nadda have a special love and faith towards me. You are aware that no position has been given to those who have crossed 75 years of age, but appreciating my work they have given me an opportunity despite my crossing 78 years," Yediyurappa said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said his intention is to strengthen the party in the days to come and bring it back to power.
"Based on the instructions that the central leaders will give me on July 25, I will begin my work from July 26. We have a special programme on July 26 regarding 2 years of our government, after attending that programme, I will abide by the instructions from the national president," he added.
Yediyurappa's trip to Delhi last week during which he met the national leadership, had raised questions in some quarters if the party is now working out a succession plan.
On his return from the national capital, Yediyurappa had however, rubbished talks in some quarters that he is on the way out and asserted that the central leadership has asked him to continue in the post.
Noting that it is his duty to strengthen and bring the party to power, Yediyurappa on Thursday asked party workers not to be under any confusion and cooperate with him.
"No one should give any statements in my favour or indulge in any kind of protest. It is not appropriate, I appeal for cooperation, without indulging in such things," he added.
Support has continued to pour in for Yediyurappa from Mutts, pontiffs, political leaders across the party line, amid speculations that his exit was on the cards.
Leaders and pontiffs, especially from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, also All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha have declared support to Yediyurappa and have urged for his continuation as the Chief Minister, while also warning "bad consequences" for the BJP if he is replaced.
Hundreds of pontiffs belonging to various communities have blessed me and have extended their support, Yediyurappa said, "I cannot forget this throughout my life. No one has got such support in the past...with their blessing, I will function according to the decision of the high command."
"Whatever is the central leadership's decision, that will be my decision," he said in response to a question about what his decision would be.