Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s indication that the coming weekend might be his last as the Chief Minister, has shaken those who joined the BJP from the Congress and Janata Dal Secular, pulling down the government led by HD Kumaraswamy.
Rewarded with ministerial berths in Mr Yediyurappa’s government, they are now gripped by uncertainty as the Chief Minister hinted at the possibility of stepping down.
The ministers, who have been keenly watching the developments, had met the Chief Minister after a cabinet meeting this evening.
Dr K Sudhakar, the high-profile health minister who was earlier with the Congress, said, “After the cabinet meeting, a few of the ministers went to the CM’s chambers. We wanted to know about the statement he made in front of media in the morning”.
The Chief Minister, he said, has clarified that “after 25th — his two-year tenure of being the Chief Minister — whatever direction the high command gives him, he would abide by that decision”.
Asked what this would mean for this group of leaders, Dr Sudhakar said, “Our leader, Sri Yediyurappa, we had belief in him and we have come. At the same time we all agreed to the principles, ideology of the BJP as a party. That is the basic foundation for which we have come. Not just for power or for one individual. “
Asked whether they would resign if Mr Yediyurappa steps down, another former Congressman, Agriculture Minister, BC Patil, however, said: “Why should we resign? What happened? Without any reason, who will give resignation? Nobody is mad. Nobody is a fool here. We are all respectable people. We are all MLAs, ministers. Why should we resign?”
In 2019, 17 MLAs jumped ship from that coalition government with almost all joining the BJP. Most of them contested by-polls to their old seats and several were given cabinet berths that were reportedly promised by Mr Yediyurappa.
Reports of Mr Yediyurappa’s possible replacement peaked last week, when he rushed to Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders of the party.
Mr Yediyurappa has so far denied that he might be replaced and insisted that the party leadership has not raised the issue.
But earlier today, he told reporters, “When the directions come, I’ll quit and work for the party. I will be Chief Minister for as long as you say. When you say no – I will work for the state. I am going to check roads and storm drains… Let’s see what happens on the 25th”.