Former union minister and BJP leader from Karnataka, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal stated that the BJP central leadership was contemplating replacing Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa shortly as the party central leadership was “fed-up” with him.
Yatnal made this statement on Monday late night while participating in a function in Vijayapura city, which he has been representing in the Karnataka assembly since 2018.
Vijayapura is 521 kms from the state capital, Bengaluru. Yatnal is considered to be the bete noire of Yediyurappa within the BJP. He has a Sangh Parivar background but does not enjoy a mass following in the state the way Yediyurappa does.
Speaking at a rally, Yatnal said that the party’s central leadership was mulling replacing Yediyurappa shortly as they were fed-up with his style of functioning. Subtly playing the north Karnataka and south Karnataka divide, he claimed that Yediyurappa would not only be replaced soon but whenever it happens it will be done by replacing him with a Lingayat leader from north Karnataka.
Continuing his tirade against Yediyurappa, Yatnal charged that the former had become the Chief Minister of Shivamogga alone and not a pan-Karnataka CM. “Any development fund allocated to other than Shivamogga district has been diverted to Shivamogga again through various means. Rs 125 crore development fund was allocated to Vijayapura city constituency, which has been diverted to Shivamogga,” he alleged.
The former union minister asserted that he knows how to bring back the money to Vijayapura.
“Now everyone stands in queue before his (Yediyurappa’s) house in Bengaluru for funds and the day is not far when they will have to stand in queue to seek funds from someone in north Karnataka,” he alleged.
Reacting sharply, revenue minister R Ashoka said that the CM’s seat was not vacant and there is no question of any replacement for Yediyurappa for the next three years. “One should not waste his time trying to block a seat that is not vacant,” he said.
The CM’s political secretary M P Renukachrya said that Yediyurappa is a tall leader of the party and is like a banyan tree that gives shade. “He (Yatnal) cannot become the CM by ridiculing Yediyurappa. There has been no discussion about replacing the CM. Yatnal is daydreaming and the party leadership will not tolerate such arrogant behaviour,” he added.