Downplaying dissent within the party and purported friction between its central and state leaderships, Chief Minister Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the Centre had given him a free hand in administration.
There have been speculations about BJP’s central leadership looking for an alternative to Yediyurappa in Karnataka, and the possibility of him being sidelined after the bypolls.
However, the CM sought to underplay such a supposition. “Until now, the Centre has never criticised any of my decisions. It has given me a free hand, even when it came
to cabinet formation. I have faith that I will complete the rest of my tenure as chief minister,” he said, adding that the party’s focus now was to win the bypolls.
As on November 1, Yediyurappa will complete 100 days as the chief minister and Wednesday’s press conference was his first media interaction after taking over the reins.
Yediyurappa’s assertion comes in the wake of opposition leaders predicting the fall of the government after bypolls. Recently, former chief minister Siddaramaiah also claimed that the BJP leader had lost his popularity among the Lingayat community, an indication of challenging times for the BJP leadership in Karnataka.
However, Yediyurappa termed these allegations baseless: “We have support from all communities. That is how we were able to form the government. We will continue to have support from everyone, irrespective of caste or creed.”
As for the prospects within the BJP for Congress and JD(S) rebel MLAs on account of whom the coalition government crumbled, the decision was left to the central leadership and the Supreme Court verdict, he said.