Amid weeks of speculation about a change of guard in Karnataka, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Thursday hinted at stepping down after July 26.
Yediyurappa, who has so far dug in his heels over the chief ministership, told reporters in Bengaluru, I will know the next step only after July 25, and will abide by the BJP high command’s decision. I will work to strengthen the party and bring the party back to power in Karnataka.
The Chief Minister was initially scheduled to attend a legislature party meeting on July 26 and hold a lunch with MLAs on July 25, but the programmes have now been rescheduled.
There has been speculation that Yediyurappa could resign on July 26, when his government completes two years in office, making way for another BJP CM to govern for two years.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and our national president JP Nadda have special love and faith towards me. You should know that no position is given to those who have crossed 75 years of age in the party, but appreciating my work, they have given me an opportunity despite the fact that I am 78 years old,” Yediyurappa added.
The Lingayat strongman had visited New Delhi last week, meeting PM Modi, Home minister Shah, Defence minister Rajnath Singh and Nadda.
In Karnataka, there has been a Lingayat show of strength in his support, including from seers and even Congress leaders of his community. However, the opposition to him continuing as CM is also coming from Lingayat leaders, like BJP MLAs Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and Arvind Bellad.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, a delegation of seers from various mutts met Yediyurappa at his official residence and urged him to complete his term.
With his supporters getting more vocal in opposing any move by the BJP central leadership to replace him, Yediyurappa Wednesday issued a statement on Twitter to reaffirm his loyalty to the party.
I am privileged to be a loyal worker of the BJP. It is my utmost honour to serve the party with the highest standards of ethics and behaviour. I urge everyone to act in accordance with party ethics and not indulge in protests/indiscipline that is disrespectful and embarrassing for the party, Yediyurappa said on Twitter.

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