Mangaluru : BJP state President said there were no talks about replacing sitting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurapa now.
Nalin Kumar Kateel was on Saturday confirmed Yediyurappa would not be replaced until Assembly term ended. "There is no such talk until now about this topic at any levels," he said.
He fired off a barrage of questions to the media, " Who has raised the issue of leadership change? Who has questioned it? Has our national president or national office bearers or core committee members or our legislators have spoken in this regard?"
Many state leaders are on message, however some like senior MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal have talked about his replacement openly.
Three prominent BJP leaders, including one of the Deputy Chief Ministers, Laxman Savadi, said on Saturday about Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa completing his term.
Of late, rumours are doing the rounds about the central leaders' plan to replace Yediyurappa by this year-end as he aged 77 years and by his term ends in 2023 he will be 80 years. Continuing in power will be a violation of BJP's own unwritten law of retirement for its leaders.
Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashjwath Narayana and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa too rejected the media reports about the possible leadership change, stating Yediyurappa will complete his term in office.
Like several BJP top leaders in the state, Savadi, Narayana and Eshwarappa are touring districts allocated to them to monitor the 'Grama Swarajya', an election campaign designed by the party to win the forthcoming local body polls in the state.
Speaking to reporters in Chitradurga district, Savadi said that it is futile even to discuss on a public forum whether their party leader will be changed. "Yediyurappa has got assurance from none other than our party high command that he will be the CM until his term ends (for the next two-and-a-half years)," he said.
Responding to a question, Savadi said that he did not skip the cabinet meeting intentionally. "Our community (Veerashaiva-Laingayts) has been demanding for reservation for long. It is not a new demand per se. The government will discuss the issue and take a decision soon," he said.
While speaking to reporters in Mangaluru, Narayana said reports about replacing Yediyurappa are far from true. "There is not even an iota of truth in these reports," he said.
Eshwarappa asked the media persons why should Yediyurappa be replaced. "Who told you this," he asked.
When reporters drew his attention towards Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah's remarks, Eshwarappa said, "Just because he is saying, will our party change our leader just like that?"
IANS report with edits