No Political Crisis at All in Karnataka, Says CM Yediyurappa Amid His Replacement Speculations
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday ruled out any political crisis, even as the rumblings within the ruling BJP have come out in the open during the visit of its national General Secretary in-charge of the State Arun Singh, amid speculations in some quarters about his replacement. The Chief Minister said that the BJP high command will decide on action against party MLC A H Vishwanath for his recent “open statements,” as he rubbished as “baseless” his allegations against his younger son and party vice-president B Y Vijayendra of interference in administration and “kickbacks” in an irrigation project.
“There is no political crisis at all…what is happening is just because one or two people (legislators) are saying something in the media, it is creating misunderstanding…these one or two people speaking against me is not new, they have been doing it since the beginning and it is getting highlighted,” Yediyurappa said. Speaking to reporters here, he said, about 60 legislators have met national General Secretary Arun Singh on Thursday, but these one or two people who are making statements were not even allowed to meet him.
“There is no confusion or crisis, we are all together and united, and are focusing on the development work. None of my cabinet colleagues are disturbed by any of these things…we will try and talk to one or two people who are involved in such activities, and try to resolve things,” he added.
Speculations have been rife for some time now that a section of the ruling BJP is trying to push for unseating Yediyurappa, despite Singh ruling out replacing the Chief Minister and asserting that the 78-year old Lingayat strong man will continue in the top post. MLA from Hubli-Dharwad West Arvind Bellad and Vijayapura MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal who are said to be from the faction seeking Yediyurappa’s replacement did not meet Singh on Thursday.
However, Tourism Minister C P Yogeshwar, who is also reportedly disgruntled, held discussions with him. Not willing to comment on Vishwanath’s statements, Yediyurappa said, the high command will decide on what action should be taken against him.
Regarding his allegation against his son and kickbacks in an irrigation project, the CM said, “these are all baseless allegations and the Irrigation Department Secretary will clarify everything…unnecessarily such allegations are being made, there is no basis for it. It is being done for political reasons.” Vishwanath has openly demanded Yediyurappa’s ouster, and levelled allegations of corruption and interference in administration against Vijayendra. This has resulted in a slugfest, as it elicited sharp reactions from the faction supporting the CM, especially his political secretaries M P Renukacharya and S R Vishwanath.
To add to this, allegations of phone-tapping and conspiracy to fix him by Bellad, had caused further embarrassment to the party and the government. Amid speculations about replacing him, Yediyurappa had earlier said that he will continue in the top post as long as the BJP high command has confidence in him, but had subsequently asserted that there was no confusion on the issue of leadership and that he will work for the development of the state during the remaining two years of the term.
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