Haveri: Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa took a dig at deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa, asking him to quit his ministry and stay on as state BJP chief to strengthen the party ahead of the Assembly elections. Yeddyurappa, who is touring the state to study the drought situation, told reporters on Tuesday that he was not in the race for the state party chief’s post and that Eshwarappa must give up his ministership since he was burdened by the revenue and rural development and panchayat raj portfolios.
“Earlier, Eshwarappa had quit as energy minister to take charge as party president to strengthen it. Now, since selecting a new party chief is not feasible, Eshwarappa must lead the party to the ensuing elections,” Yeddyurappa said. He advised Eshwarappa to lead the party and ensure a scam-free government, without recourse to money and caste power.
Though Yeddyurappa clarified that he was not an aspirant for the chief minister’s post, he said, “I have never asked the party leaders to make me the chief minister. If I have the blessings of the people, I will become the chief minister after the Assembly elections.” He also said that though a few leaders in the party were making all-out efforts to throw him out, he would not quit the BJP, and added that he would make his political stand clear only after touring 100 Assembly constituencies. Yeddyurappa, over the last two days, has been saying he would not remain in the party at the cost of his personal pride.
Yeddyurappa said he was not afraid of the Opposition’s allegations of corruption and scams against him and dared it to form a “truth finding committee” to probe all the developmental work during his tenure. Listing out the “progress” and welfare schemes during his tenure, Yeddyurappa said he was always committed to the overall development of farmers.
PWD and District Minister C M Udasi said developmental work worth over Rs 600 crore was taken up in Haveri district when Yeddyurappa was chief minister.