B.S. Yediyurappa Resigns as Karnataka Chief Minister After Two Years in Office

It's not clear yet who will be replacing Yediyurappa as the chief minister.

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New Delhi: B.S. Yediyurappa on Monday announced his resignation as the chief minister of Karnataka, as his government completes two years in office.

The 78-year old BJP veteran said he will submit his resignation to the governor post lunch. “Don’t take me otherwise, with your permission… I have decided that after lunch I will go to the Raj Bhavan and submit my resignation as the chief minister to the governor,” Yediyurappa said with a choked voice, as he turned emotional.

“Not out of grief, but with happiness,” he said, as he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda for giving him an opportunity to serve as chief minister for two years, despite completing 75 years. There is an unwritten rule in the BJP of keeping out those above 75 years from elected offices.

The chief minister also said that he will work to strengthen the party and bring it back to power, as per the expectations of the central leaders.

Yediyurappa was speaking at an event organised to mark his government’s two years in office at Vidhana Soudha, the seat of state legislature and secretariat here.

During the speech, Yediyurappa termed his tenure for two years as “trial by fire”, recalling that he had to run the administration without cabinet in the initial days, followed by devastating floods and coronavirus among other issues

It’s not clear yet who will be replacing Yediyurappa as the chief minister. From the Lingayat community (of which Yediyurappa too is a member), three names have been doing the rounds – the present home minister Basavarai Bommai, the present mines minister Murugesh Nirani and Arvind Bellard, a two-time MLA.

From the Vokkaliga community, there are two names – C.T. Ravi and C.N. Aswanth Narayan. Among the Brahmins, names of present minister in the Modi government Prahlad Joshi and BJP organisation national secretary B.L. Santosh are doing the rounds as frontrunners for the post.

The state is set to go for assembly elections in 2023. In the last polls, the BJP failed to get a simple majority in the 224-member assembly, leading the Congress and the Janata Dal (United) to come together to form a government with JD(U) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy as the chief minister. However, a year later, in July 2019, the government fell after some Congress and JD(U) MLAs resigned from the house. They soon joined the BJP and contested the by-polls and thereafter became a part of the Yediyurappa government.

The Wire’s recent joint global investigation based on leaked data of the Indian client(s) of the Israeli company NSO Group has indicated possible surveillance of the top Congress and JD(U) leaders through the spyware Pegasus in the run-up to the fall of the Kumaraswamy government. The NSO Group, in its past statements, has said that it sells the military grade spyware meant for national security only to “vetted governments”. The Narendra Modi government is so far quiet about whether it uses the spyware.

(With PTI inputs)