The suspense over a possible leadership change in the Karnataka government ended on Monday morning as BS Yediyurappa announced his resignation at the end of his speech at the celebrations of his government completing two years. Yediyurappa broke down as he spoke at the two-year anniversary and said his government had fought for farmers, Dalits and the people of this state.
Speculations were rife of his exit after he hinted he may not continue as the chief minister after July 26. Here’s a timeline of all the developments that led to his resignation on Monday:
• The buzz about his exit had been going on in the political corridors of Karnataka for months and earlier this month, the debate on leadership change was once again revived by Tourism Minister CP Yogeshwar.
• Soon after, dissident BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal launched a fresh attack against the chief minister and accused the state government of indulging in unbridled corruption and for its poor management of the Covid-19 crisis. The BJP leader said the party high command would take a decision soon to change the leadership in Karnataka. “It will happen soon. I am not a soothsayer,” he said.
• Yatnal also accused BSY’s son and state BJP vice-president, BY Vijayendra, of negotiating “deals”, receiving favours from various projects and interfering in the affairs of the state government.
• The 78-year-old’s standing took further hit after his name surfaced in the land denotification scam and voices of corruption and impropriety against him and his family grew louder. A special court in Bengaluru dismissed a report filed by the Lokayukta police seeking the closure of over a 15-year-old investigation against Yediyurappa in a land denotification case.
• As the resentment against him and his son grew louder, he flew to Delhi by a chartered flight on July 16 to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders.
• On Sunday, the eve of the BJP government completing two years in power, Yediyurappa, or BSY as he is popularly known, told reporters that the party high command had not sent the much-anticipated “message” yet.
• The same day, while speaking to reporters after an hour-long meeting with the ministers and MLAs at Belagavi circuit house in Karnataka, the Karnataka CM expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah and BJP Chief JP Nadda. “I have enjoyed all the positions in the BJP and government than any other leader in the state," he said.
• He said the aim of his government was to ensure that remaining BJP term is completed successfully. “There are several tall leaders in the party and all of them are bound to the decisions taken by the high command and will work together. Our target is to complete the remaining term successfully and bring BJP to power once again."
• Putting an end to reports and speculation on Monday, Yediyurappa in an emotional speech announced his resignation. “I have quit of my own will, no one put any pressure for me to do so. I have not recommended any names for my successor. Whoever is appointed I will work with him to build party. I will not accept any gubernatorial role and will very much be in Karnataka only. I will work to bring party to power in the next elections,” he said.