Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa left for New Delhi on Thursday. This is Yediyurappa’s first visit to the national capital since March before the coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed nationally.
His trip is taking place at a time when there are strong speculations that he may be replaced by a middle-aged man who has the approval of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Officially, Yediyurappa is in New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other Union ministers and party colleagues to discuss various issues concerning Karnataka. He is also likely to discuss expansion of the state Cabinet with the party leadership.
However, insiders claim that the sword is still hanging on his head and the CM is in New Delhi to ensure that his hard-earned chair remains safe and strong.
On Wednesday, while speaking to News18, Yediyurappa had, however, dismissed reports of any impending ouster. “These are all media rumours. No one believes them. I will complete full term,” he said, adding that he would discuss Cabinet expansion and development-related issues with the party high command and the Centre.
Several ministerial aspirants have also rushed to New Delhi with the chief minister. Some are lobbying with the RSS point person for the BJP, BL Santhosh, who also hails from Karnataka. The CM’s son, BY Vijayendra, who is under fire for meddling in the governance, has also left for the national capital.
After Yediyurappa left for New Delhi, former CM and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah stepped up his attack on the BJP government in the state.
The senior Congress leader told reporters that Vijayendra is acting like the de-facto chief minister of Karnataka. He described the present BJP government as a total failure.
Yediyurappa, who has already celebrated his 78th birthday, wants to complete the remaining two-and-a-half years in office before he calls it a day. But, a larger section in the party with close ties with the RSS is advocating for a middle-aged person with complete loyalty to the Sangh to take reins of the state.
This section feels that if Yediyurappa continues as the chief minister till the next election, the party may be routed as the BJP will be facing the election with no face.