Bommai will complete term as CM, says BJP State executive

It bars leaders from publicly discussing leadership issue, asks them to focus on polls

The BJP State executive committee, which began its two-day meeting in Hubballi on Tuesday, sought to clear the air on speculation over a possible change of leadership by sending out a clear message that Basavaraj Bommai will complete full term as Chief Minister.

The committee also barred its leaders and members from discussing the issue in public. Seeking to shift the focus from speculations on leadership change to preparations for the next Assembly polls, the meeting issued specific directions to begin formal preparations for polls.

Briefing presspersons after the first day’s deliberations, BJP State spokesperson and MLA P. Rajiv described the speculation over leadership change as baseless and useless.

Mr. Rajiv sought to downplay the absence of former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, his sons, and former Ministers Ramesh Jarkiholi and Balachandra Jarkiholi, by saying that out of the 300 delegates, 281 had participated. “The remaining members, including Mr. Yediyurappa and the Jarkiholi brothers, took permission from the party State president to skip the meeting,” he said.

On the allegations against the Jarkiholi brothers that they did not back the party candidate in the recent Council polls in Belagavi, Mr. Rajiv clarified that the issue did not come up for discussion during the meeting, but it had been handed over to the fact-finding committee by the State president. “The BJP is a disciplined party and there is no question of tolerating any sort of indiscipline,” he said.

Mr. Rajiv said Health Minister K. Sudhakar presented the resolution on thanking the State Government for its pro-people policies and programmes. The resolution had been endorsed by Laxman Savadi, MLC.

He said the meeting thanked the government for providing 1.4 lakh electricity connections to the poor under ‘Belaku’ scheme; for deciding to give ₹3,500 per month to COVID-19 orphans; for renaming Bombay-Karnataka as ‘Kittur Karnataka’; for giving additional compensation under NDRF; for winning 11 seats in the recent Council polls, and for passing the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, against forced religious conversions. Mr. Bommai was thanked for equating his post to the level of ‘common man’ by being a common man, he said.

Those speaking of leadership change will be thrown out: Yatnal

Former Union Minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal on Tuesday said the BJP had sent a clear message that there would be no leadership change and that those speaking about it would be thrown out of the party.

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the State executive committee meeting, he made a veiled attack on a leader ‘attempting’ to become Chief Minister. “Some had tried to become CM by offering something, but unfortunately it did not materialise,” he quipped.

On the absence of leader B.S. Yediyurappa, he said the former Chief Minister had gone abroad and the Jarkiholi brothers probably had other work.

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