With voices growing in his support, amid speculation that his replacement was on the cards, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday urged his supporters and well-wishers not to indulge in any kind of protests or indiscipline that is disrespectful and may embarrass the BJP. The 78-year-old BJP veteran said the party is “like mother” for him.
“I am privileged to be a loyal worker of BJP. It is my utmost honour to serve the party with highest standards of ethics & behaviour. I urge everyone to act in accordance with party ethics & not indulge in protests/indiscipline that is disrespectful & embarrassing for the party,” Yediyurappa tweeted.
Appealing to supporters not to give statements in his favour or indulge in protests, “based on the current political developments”, Yediyurappa in a Kannada tweet said, “your goodwill should not exceed the boundaries of discipline. Party is like a mother to me and disrespecting it will cause pain to me. I believe that my true well-wishers will understand and respond to my feelings.” His statement came as support continued to pour in for him from Mutts, pontiffs, and political leaders.
Leaders and pontiffs, especially from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, also All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, have declared support to Yediyurappa and have urged for his continuation as the Chief Minister, while also warning “bad consequences” for the BJP if he is replaced. Striking a discordant note, dissident BJP MLC A H Vishwanath asked the Lingayat seers whether they were “backing corruption” by rallying behind Yediyurappa.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Vishwanath, who has been vocal against Yediyurappa, criticised them, claiming that they are setting a “wrong precedent” by backing the Chief Minister and his government “instead of standing with the people”. Some BJP leaders like MP G M Siddeshwara and former legislator B Suresh Gowda have also expressed confidence that he will continue as CM, as the high command has not asked him to step down.
Yediyurappa, who is completing two years in office on July 26, had visited Delhi last week, during which he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president JP Nadda. The trip raised questions in some quarters if the party is now working out a succession plan.
On his return from the national capital, Yediyurappa had, however, rubbished talks in some quarters that he is on the way out, and asserted that the central leadership has asked him to continue in the post. According to BJP sources, Yediyurappa’s dinner for BJP legislators, which was scheduled to take place on July 25, to mark his government completing two years in office, has been postponed.
Sources also clarified that a BJP legislature party meeting has not been convened on July 26..