Bengaluru: Putting an end to speculations of leadership change, Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) incharge Arun Singh on Thursday said there are no proposals or discussions to replace B S Yediyurappa as chief minister.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Singh said: “(B S) Yediyurappa is the chief minister, is doing good work and will remain the chief minister.” He also termed the alleged talks to replace the chief minister and state unit chief Nalin Kumar Niranjan Shetty Kateel as “imaginary”.
The Rajya Sabha member lauded Yediyurappa and his government for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, and said no one in the party should speak against the chief minister but focus on relief work.
“I am going to listen and talk to anyone who has grievances,” Singh, who is expected to visit Karnataka next week to meet all stakeholders, said.
The statements came as the saffron party tries hard to plug all possible dissent within its ranks that have targeted the chief minister and openly sought his ouster over allegations of corruption, mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic and charges that his son, B Y Vijayendra, runs a parallel administration under him.
In the past, several ministers and legislators have made multiple trips to the national capital to complain against the chief minister and seek his removal.
The complaints added to the challenges of the saffron party, whose image was getting dented in the process, prompting the state unit to initiate action against the rebels.
“Such statements (of dissent) are given by one or two persons. But my opinion is that no one should give such statements in public. If anyone has any such thing to say, I am going to hear it. But such public statements should not be given by anyone. Those who have given such statements, I will definitely talk to them asking why they did so,” Singh said.
In its latest move, the state unit of the party issued gag orders, restricting its ministers, legislators and party workers from speaking out against the chief minister.
The party, however, is yet to initiate action against Basanagouda Patil (Yatnal), the firebrand legislator from Bijapur City, who has continuously levelled charges of corruption against Yediyurappa and his family for at least six months now.
On June 6, Yediyurappa had said that he was ready to step down as chief minister if the high command ordered him to do so, indicating the possibility that he had reached an agreement with the top brass to continue in power.
Karnataka’s minister for tourism, environment and ecology C P Yogeshwar had also visited the national capital and sought for a change in leadership, while indicating that Yediyurappa’s son was wielding power in the minister’s home district of Ramanagara.