Teary-eyed Yediyurappa resigns as CM
Veteran leader says he resigned on his own, denied pressure from party high command
Bengaluru: Bringing down the curtains on his two-year term at the helm of affairs in Karnataka, Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yediyurappa with voice choking and tears in his eyes, announced his resignation as Chief Minister on Monday at a programme organized to mark two-years of BJP government in the State.
Thanking the BJP top brass including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda for giving him an opportunity to serve the State, Yediyurappa broke down and said that people had lost faith in the government. Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot accepted the resignation and dissolved the council of ministers headed by him. Yediyurappa will continue as caretaker CM till his successor is decided.
The BJP has decided to send a team of observers to convene the legislature party meeting to elect the next CM.
Meanwhile, Yediyurappa stated that he would not suggest any names to the party high command. After his resignation, Yediyurappa tweeted: "It has been an honour to have served the State for the past two years. I have decided to resign as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. I am humbled and sincerely thank the people of the State for giving me the opportunity to serve them." "Our tallest leaders, starting from Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyayaji, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Atalji, Advaniji, Murali Manohar Joshiji have inspired me to dedicate myself to serve the nation. I have also received immense love and support from Modiji, Amit Shahji and Naddaji.
Deeply influenced by Jagajyoti Basavanna's philosophy of Kayaka, Dasoha Tattva & the life of Lingaikya Shri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt, I have dedicated my entire 50 years of public life towards nation building and fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Karnataka," he tweeted. After submitting his resignation to the Governor, Yediyurappa clarified that there was no pressure from the top brass and he resigned voluntarily.
On being asked if he would accept gubernatorial post if offered by the party, he stated, "I am not going anywhere. I will be in politics and work hard to bring the BJP back to power in the State. There is no question of me being a Governor and going anywhere. I will work with my successor."
The resignation of the veteran Lingayat leader ends months of speculation. The friction within the BJP has been evident for quite some time. In March, State Rural Development Minister K.S. Eshawarappa met the then Governor Vajubhai Vala and accused B.S. Yediyurappa of running the administration in an authoritarian way.
In a five-page letter, the minister alleged serious lapses on the part of the CM in running the administration. He alleged that the CM sanctioned Rs 774 crore under his Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department, without his approval to 'several MLAs' persons in violation of Karnataka (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1977 and also against the established practices and procedures relating to the affairs of the State.
Days after cabinet reshuffle in January, the turncoat MLAs' who played a pivotal role in toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition government seethed with resentment. They stated that the CM went back on his promise of inducting them into his cabinet. Yediyurappa's most bitter critic was Vijayapura MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal who on several occasions predicted leadership change.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership is preparing for the onerous exercise of selecting Yediyurappa's successor, the prominent front runners for CM's post are as follows:
Prahlad Joshi: The Union minister is one of the candidates being considered for the post though he has said that PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah would decide on the successor.
Murugesh Nirani: State Mines and Geology Minister is one of the top contenders for the post.
Basavraj Bommai: State Home Minister has denied the speculation that he would take the reins. But his name is also doing the rounds.
BL Santosh: National joint general secretary of the BJP. He is close to RSS.
Reacting to the resignation of Yediyurappa, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah stated that he had predicted this long ago.
"There is nothing to be celebrated about it now. We will celebrate only when the corrupt @BJP4Karnataka party loses in the election & that will happen very soon. I feel sympathy for @BSYBJP. @BJP4India Delhi leaders had repeatedly expressed that Yediyurappa has become old. I can only wish for his happy & peaceful life ahead.
Corruption is in the DNA of @BJP4Karnataka & this will not change with the change in Chief Minister," Siddaramaiah tweeted.
The senior Congress leader said that the BJP had come to power through unethical 'Operation Kamala' and Karnataka will be better off only with the ouster of the BJP government.