Bengaluru, July 20: Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa may quit the post within a few days and Karnataka may witness a new CM before August 15, according to party sources.
“If nothing goes wrong, he may resign on or before July 26, when he completes two years in office as his request to continue in the top post till then was not accepted by the BJP central leadership,” a person aware of the developments said.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said it will not comment, calling it speculation.
Several times earlier, Yediyurappa denied having been asked to step down. “This is obvious as no sitting CM will admit that he is on his way out as that would affect the administration,” the source said.
Apparently, Yediyurappa’s exit plan was firmed up even before his visit to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others last week. It is learnt that the Yediyurappa’s resignation letter was drafted more than a week ago.
Yediyurappa wanted more time as he was keen on inaugurating some developmental works in Shivamogga, his political home, it is said.
Meanwhile, an audio clip purportedly of BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel went viral, stirring the state’s political cauldron and doing little to reaffirm Yediyurappa’s continuation. Kateel called it “fake”, but the voice is heard talking of a new chief minister and a major Cabinet reshuffle.
“There are three candidates shortlisted. There are chances that anyone can become CM...No one from here will become CM. High command will appoint [someone] from Delhi,” according to the clip.
Further, the voice on the audio clip talks about big changes in the Cabinet: “Eshwarappa, Shettar and team will be out. A new team will be formed.”
Kateel has urged Yediyurappa to order an investigation, adding that it was a ploy to tarnish the party’s image. “I have nothing to do with this audio clip,” he said. “Yediyurappa is the party’s soul, Eshwarappa and Shettar are the eyes. There’s no discussion on change in leadership or anything like that.”