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'You Tell Me': BS Yediyurappa Meets Modi, Gets Cheeky on Leadership Change Question

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa. (PMO Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa. (PMO Twitter)

Soon after the meeting, Yediyurappa told reporters that he only discussed development related issues with the PM.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today amid heavy speculation of a leadership change in the state. He is also said to have discussed several development works.

Yediyurappa, who has been hounded by the buzz of him losing his chair for months, had earlier in the day boarded a special flight with his son Vijayendra.

Soon after the meeting, he told reporters that he only discussed development related issues with the PM.

“I don’t know you’ll have to tell," he said cheekily when asked about the leadership change speculation in the state.

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He is slated to call on some key Central ministers including Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

Yediyurappa’s visit came as rumblings within the party have gained ground since the past few months and there have been repeated open statements by some disgruntled legislators against the functioning of the government and its leadership. The chief minister’slast trip to Delhi was in January when he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda.

Speculations have been rife for some time now that a section of the ruling BJP is trying to push for unseating Yediyurappa, despite BJP national General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh, party state President Nalin Kumar Kateel and other senior leaders ruling out replacing the Chief Minister and asserting that the 78-year-old Lingayat strong man will continue in the top post.

According to sources, at the meeting with PM Modi today, Yediyurappa has sought the Central government’s nod for the Mekedatu dam project across river Cauvery. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu is vehemently opposed to the project. The CM has asserted that the state has got every right to implement the project and will start the work. “They (TN) have been opposing us since the beginning but we have got our rights. I request them not to disturb us." He also assured Tamil Nadu that the implementation of the proposed project will not create any problem for them. “I have written to them (TN CM) about the matter, but they are not letting us (implement the project)." “There is no need to have confusion. I want to assure our state that we will cent percent implement the Mekedatu project, he added.

On a likely Cabinet rejig in the BJP-ruled state, he had said before the meeting: “I will tell you if any discussion (happens) with seniors over the restructuring or expansion of the Cabinet."

No state minister is accompanying the chief minister during his trip. However, his son B Y Vijayendra has come.

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first published:July 16, 2021, 19:52 IST