Bengaluru: Senior Karnataka BJP minister K S Eshwarappa on Wednesday admitted that there were calls within the party for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s removal, and said that the high command would take a final decision on this.
Eshwarappa’s statement comes ahead of BJP national general secretary Arun Singh’s visit to Bengaluru. Singh is in charge of the party’s affairs in Karnataka and he is expected to hold talks with ministers, legislators and party workers during his 3-day visit.
“It’s true that some have proposed that the CM should be changed. Some others want (Yediyurappa) to continue. Some even went to Delhi,” Eshwarappa, the rural development & panchayat raj minister, told reporters.
He also conceded that there were problems in the party. “I’d be lying if I said there are no problems. Singh is coming expressly to solve the problems,” he said.
Eshwarappa is the second minister to have publicly conceded that there are attempts being made to unseat Yediyurappa. Late last month, Revenue Minister R Ashoka had said there were attempts to have Yediyurappa removed.
Eshwarappa is known to have a love-hate relationship with Yediyurappa. In April, Eshwarappa went to Governor Vajubhai R Vala with a formal complaint against Yediyurappa’s “direct interference” in the affairs of his department, which was an unprecedented show of discord.
“MLAs, ministers and office-bearers will meet Singh and express whatever problems they have,” Eshwarappa said. When asked if there would be a change in leadership after Singh’s visit, he said: “I don’t know. Whatever the high command decides will be final.”
According to Eshwarappa, problem-solving was a virtue in the BJP. “Because there are problems, the national leadership is stepping in to solve them. This shows that the BJP is a party where there’s someone to sort out issues,” he said. “Look at the Congress. Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan wants Siddaramaiah to contest from his constituency. He even says Siddaramaiah will be the next CM. If Khan is deciding everything, what’s the need for a formal party set up,” he asked.
Meanwhile, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel told reporters that Yediyurappa will continue as CM for the next two years. He said Singh will hold talks with ministers. “Whoever wants to meet Singh can do so. MLAs can talk to him individually,” he said.
On June 18, Singh will take part in the state BJP core committee meeting.