Yediyurappa resigns as Karnataka CM
Bengaluru: Ending months of speculation over his exit, B S Yediyurappa on Monday stepped down as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, coinciding with his Government completing two years in office, even as suspense continues on his successor. The 78-year-old BJP veteran, who submitted his resignation to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the Raj Bhavan here, said he quit ‘voluntarily’ and will continue to remain active in State politics.
Asserting that he will ‘100 per cent’ continue in politics and work to bring BJP back to power from tomorrow itself, the Lingayat strongman said “…there is no question of political retirement for any reason. I am with the karyakartas and the people. The party has nurtured me to this level, most probably no other politician in the country has got the privileges that I have got.”
To a question on whether he will accept if there is an offer to make him the Governor, he said, “Atal Bihari Vajpayee had offered me to become the Central Minister when he was the PM. I had said no. There is no question of becoming Governor. I will work to strengthen the organisation in Karnataka. I have not asked for any position, nor will I accept it.” Following Monday’s developments, the focus now shifts to finding a successor for the BJP veteran, who could lead the Government for the remainder of its term and the party to the 2023 Assembly polls. There is no clarity yet as to who the next CM would be.
BJP national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh maintained that the decision is left to the party’s parliamentary board and the legislature party.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is likely to be the Central observer at the BJP Karnataka legislature party meeting, where the new Chief Minister will be decided, party sources said.
Among the names doing the rounds are Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP national general secretary C T Ravi, the party’s national organising secretary B L Santhosh and the Assembly Speaker Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri.
Yediyurappa termed these two years as ‘trial by fire’, pointing out that he had to run the administration without a Cabinet in the initial days, followed by devastating floods and the challenge of COVID-19 management, among other issues.
“I had decided to resign two months ago, as we complete two years of our Government today. I thought it was apt to resign now and have submitted the resignation to the Governor and he has accepted it,” he told reporters emerging from Raj Bhavan.
Yediyurappa will continue to function as Chief Minister till alternative arrangements are made.
Thanking party leaders and the people for giving him an opportunity to serve the State, he said he had no ‘pressure’ from the Central leadership in Delhi and quit on his own ‘voluntarily’ to make way for others to serve as CM.