Karnataka Dy CM scoffs at change in leadership

Bengaluru, July 30 : Indicating that all was well in the ruling BJP government, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi on Thursday ruled out change in leadership and swore by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa as his leader.

“No change in leadership. Yediyurappa will continue to be our leader till the government’s term in May 2023,” Savadi told reporters after meeting the Chief Minister at his home-office in the city centre on return from New Delhi.

Terming the speculation on leadership change as a media creation, the northwest Karnataka Lingayat leader said he had informed the chief minister on his trip to New Delhi early this week on official work.

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“As I had appointments with some central ministers in the national capital since Monday, I could not attend the event in Bengaluru, marking the 1-year rule in the southern state here on the same day (June 27),” recalled Savadi.

Referring to his interaction with the chief minister, Savadi said he had briefed the latter on his meetings with ministers in the national capital and the leadership issue did not come up for discussion.

“Yediyurappa also knows who is behind such rumours and speculation as he heard them in the past too. He ignored the media reports even on me being dropped from the cabinet or becoming chief minister when the post is not vacant,” asserted Savadi.

Denying that he discussed about the cabinet expansion with the party’s senior leaders during his trip in Delhi or in Bengaluru on return, Savadi said as the state government was busy fighting the Covid pandemic, the time was not right for such an exercise till the normalcy was restored.

“The party’s high command and the Chief Minister will decide on the cabinet expansion after controlling the Covid situation across the state,” Savadi reiterated.

As six posts are vacant in the 34-member ministry, a few loyal legislators and the newly elected MLCs who defected from the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) a year ago have been lobbying for a cabinet berth.

Echoing Savadi, party’s state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel said as the government was busy fighting the pandemic, which has been rising across the state, especially in Bengaluru, leadership change or cabinet expansion were not a priority to the party high command or others.

“As Yediyurappa was elected as the Chief Minister by the 117 BJP legislators, he will remain in the post till his office term ends in May 2023. Speculations on leadership change is ridiculous,” said Kateel, a Lok Sabha member from the coastal Dakshina Kannada district, about 350km from west of Bengaluru.

On Savadi’s supporters and voters pitching him for the top post, Kateel said it was the high command and the legislators who decide on the leadership and not others.

aceOur government is stable. No leadership crisis for the next 3 years. All ministers and officials are busy in containing the corona virus spread. Any rift will be resolved within the party,” Kateel told reporters at Chamarajanagara, about 180km southwest of Bengaluru.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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