Belagavi, July 27 : Karnataka’s Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on Monday ruled out change in leadership and said Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa would continue to head the government till its tenure up to mid-2023.
“No talks on change of leadership in the state BJP. Yediyurappa will continue to be the chief minister and lead the party even in the 2023 Assembly elections to retain power,” Jarkiholi told reporters in Karnataka’s northwest city, about 500km from Bengaluru.
The firebrand former Congress rebel defected to the BJP in November 2019 and was re-elected from Gokak in Belagavi district in the December 5 by-elections to 15 Assembly seats, caused by resignations of 16 other rebels from Congress and JD-S.
“As all are busy in fighting the Covid pandemic since mid-March, there have been no talks on change of leadership in the party or the government. I am also not aware of cabinet expansion, which is the prerogative of the party’s high command and the chief minister,” Jarkiholi asserted at an event marking the BJP’s 1-year rule in the state.
As a strong regional leader in the politically dominant Lingayat community to which Yediyurappa belongs to, the 60-year-old Jarkiholi was municipal administration minister in the 14-month JD-S-Congress coalition government and led the revolt that led its fall on July 23, 2019 after its Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy lost majority in the 225-member Assembly due to resignations by then rebels.
“My recent meeting with Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savaid’s visit to New Delhi was for development works in the state and not to discuss party issues. There is no difference of opinion on the leadership issue,” Jarkiholi reiterated.
Though only 6 posts are vacant in the 34-member Yediyurappa cabinet, at least a dozen, including 3-4 defectors are vying for them with the party’s native legislators.
Joshi is a 3-time Lok Sabha member from Dharwad in the state’s northwest region, about 405km from Bengaluru.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.