Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa declared his resignation today in the state assembly, ending months of speculation after a section of BJP in the state had been demanding his removal.
In an emotional speech, the minister spoke about being tested in the two years of his fourth term and announced that he would resign after lunch. He began his speech by referring to when the erstwhile Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had asked him to be a minister at the Centre. But Yediyurappa told him that he would instead work in Karnataka itself. Commenting on the struggles he has undergone, he said, "It has always been an Agnipariksha (trial by fire) for me. These last two years, it was Covid," reported NDTV.
The declaration was widely anticipated for since long, and people were kept speculating until yesterday. Last evening, he indicated that his exit could occur at any time. He informed the reporters that he had received no information till then. However, he also mentioned that in a programme Monday morning marking two years of the government, the reporter will know the progress.
The 78-year-old had further noted that he would be working till the last minute of his tenure.
Onset Of The Buzz
Two months ago, Yediyurappa had declared that he would be ready to resign whenever he would be asked to. Until then, he had received no message from the Centre. He said that even if asked to continue working as the chief minister, he would do so. Otherwise, he would resign and work for the party.
Earlier this month, Yediyurappa and his son Vijayendra suddenly took a chartered flight and flew to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of BJP. Reportedly, this made the resentment against the minister and his son grow even louder. Post the meeting, Yediyurappa claimed that he had not been asked to resign. But a few days later, he noted that he was ready to quit whenever asked to.
Reasons For Sudden Resignation
Being BJP's first and only Chief Minister from South India, Yediyurappa came to power in 2019, when the Janata Dal Secular-Congress government crashed after the sudden resignation of 18 rebels. These 18 people later joined contested elections from BJP, eventually becoming a part of the Chief Minister's cabinet.
But over time, it was seen that the CM failed to keep every faction of his party happy. Some BJP leaders like legislative council member AH Vishwanath, MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, and Tourism Minister CP Yogeshwar have attacked him repeatedly over allegations of election and his favouritism for his son. The latter interfered in the working of every ministry.
Next In Chair?
Considering the upcoming elections in 2023, the top brass of BJP has shortlisted eight people who can become the next Chief Minister, reported News18. Among them, home minister Basavaraj Bommai (preferred by Mr Yediyurappa himself), Dharwad West MLA Aravind Bellad, Karnataka Mines and Geology Minister Murgesh R Nirani, or Vijayapura MLA Basannagouda Patil Yatnal are the most likely to get a chance as they belong to the preferred.
Some other considerations include BL Santosh, CN Ashwath Narayan, CT Ravi, Govind Karjol, Laxman Savadi, Pralhad Joshi, and Visveshwara Hegde Kageri.