Karnataka: Uncertainty looms large for 12 turncoats amid BS Yediyurappa’s impending exit as CM

by Joseph K. Clark

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa hinted that he might quit after July 26, which marks the second anniversary of his government. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s imminent exit has created confusion over the fate of 12 MLAs accommodated in the state Cabinet by the CM himself. The 12 legislators from Congress and the JDS defected to the BJP and helped Yediyurappa form a government in July 2019. When there was a delay from the central leadership in accommodating these leaders into the cabinet, Yediyurappa stood firm by them. These ministers, including Byrathi Basavaraj, Dr. K Sudhakar, BC Patil, MTB Nagaraj, Shivaram Hebbar, and K Gopalaiah, met Yediyurappa to discuss the future course of action.

After the meeting, Health Minister Dr. K Sudhakar said they would be with Yediyurappa on every decision. “We have come to follow the ideals of the BJP and will follow what the high command says. We have to be with the CM till the end since we have worked together, and it is only right that we support him till the end,” said Sudhakar.

However, the legislators denied reports that they were planning to resign from the cabinet. They, however, maintained that they would do so if asked by the BJP high command.

The Karnataka legislative assembly has 224 seats, and the BJP’s current strength is 117, including these 12 legislators. The majority mark is 113. The party also enjoys the support of two independent MLAs, taking its tally to 119.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa hinted that he might quit after July 26, which marks the second anniversary of his government. Yediyurappa said that he would abide by the decision of the high command. He said that regardless of whether he is in power, he will work to bring the BJP to power again in the next polls.

BS Yediyurappa

“On July 26, we have a special program about our achievements of the last two years. After participating in this program, I will abide by the suggestions of the BJP national president. I must strengthen the party and bring it back to power,’” Yediyurappa said.

However, the Karnataka CM said he would not name anyone as his successor, leaving the decision to the central leadership. There are rumors that a non-Lingayat CM may be picked to replace Yediyurappa.

Yediyurappa had refused to resign and reportedly sought accommodation for his son BY, Vijayendra, before his exit. There have been corruption allegations against BY Vijayendra by some state leaders. Several BJP legislators had previously demanded a change of guard in the state.

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