Speculation rife over leadership change in Karnataka

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 11, 2021

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa   -  The Hindu

Clarifying it after a meeting with party’s top brass, Yediyurappa says discussion was on Cabinet expansion

Bharatiya Janata Party central leadership permission for the Cabinet expansion in Karnataka along with talks of leadership change in the State has led to speculation in the party.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, on his return from New Delhi after meeting party leaders, told media on Monday that a suitable time for the swearing-in ceremony will be fixed in consultation with the party’s national president.

But what is intriguing is talks between Chief Minister and party central leadership with regard to identifying a suitable leader to replace ageing Yediyurappa, who turns 78 next month.

A senior leader in the anti-Yediyurappa camp questioned, “If it was just Cabinet expansion, why would Union Home Minister Amit Shah call other senior leaders — JP Nadda and Arun Singh to the meeting.”

Talk of leadership change is being attributed to the Karnataka High Court not providing any relief to Yediyurappa in land denotification cases and a few party loyalists unhappy over new entrants to the party getting plum posts and Chief Minister’s style of leadership.

The Chief Minister avoided questions on leadership change but claimed that the BJP leadership has expressed happiness about the party’s performance in the recently-held gram panchayat elections. He added that discussions with party leadership also revolved around the upcoming by-elections for one parliamentary (Belagavi) and two Assembly seats (Maski and Basavakalyan) in Karnataka.

“The party leaders have asked for a list of probable candidates in these three constituencies, and we will send it to them. Details of Shah’s visit to the State were also discussed,” he said.

Yediyurappa said Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on January 13 or 14. “A suitable time for the swearing-in ceremony will be fixed in consultation with the BJP’s national president.”

Published on January 11, 2021

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