Rubbishing claims that his son B Y Vijayendra was interfering in the administration, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday alleged that a systematic conspiracy was going on to unnecessarily bring in his name to create confusion. The Chief Minister said he was in New Delhi to discuss cabinet expansion and issues relating to the development of the state with the Prime Minister and BJP National President, as he rejected speculation about his recent meeting with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy.
“It is natural that people cannot tolerate those who are growing. Vijayendra in no way at any moment has interfered (in administration). As state Vice President (BJP) he is doing his duty by travelling across the state to strengthen the party," Yediyurappa said in response to a question.
Speaking to reporters after laying the foundation for there construction of Karnataka Bhavan-1 “Cauvery" at a cost of Rs 120 crore in New Delhi, he said, “some people are indulging in a systematic conspiracy to unnecessarily bring his (Vijayendra) name and create confusion." Leader of the Opposition in the assembly, Siddaramaiah on Thursday had said Vijayendra was the de facto chief minister, accusing him of interfering with the administration. “Vijayendra is the de facto CM, whereas Yediyurappa is the de jure CM," he had said.
Recently, the Congress had taken exception to Vijayendra allegedly holding a meeting with the government medical officers and sought to know who gave him the power for such an interaction though he did not hold any Constitutional position. There have been allegations of Vijayendra’s interference in the administration by opposition and few within, ever since BJP came to power last year, a charge rejected by Yediyurappa.
Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,the Chief Minister said he will discuss all the issues concerning the development of the state, also cabinet expansion. “… discussion also has to happen regarding the cabinet expansion, I will bring it to his notice and take clearance and leave for Bengaluru tomorrow," he said, adding that he will meeting BJP national President J P Nadda in the evening.
Cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tight rope for the 77-year-old leader, considering too many aspirants. While several old guard are waiting for a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, those who defected from the Congress and JD(S) like A H Vishwanath, R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj, who are now BJP MLCs, are also aspiring for slots.
The cabinet currently has 28 members and six berths are still vacant. There are also strong speculations about the possible change in leadership in the future, considering Yediyurappa’s age.
However it has been rejected by senior party leaders like its state President Nalin Kumar Kateel, Minister R Ashoka among others. To a query about his recent meeting with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, Yediyurappa said there is no room for any speculation.
“… as an opposition party leader he (Kumaraswamy) had come to my home office Krishna to discuss the issues pertaining to constituencies of his party MLAs. No other things have been discussed, there is no need for it also. We have the majority and we will give a stable government in the remaining three years," he added.