Top BJP body backs Bommai, warns against speculation

Karnataka BJP executive body backs Bommai, warns against speculation

The meeting stressed on the need to strengthen the party-government ties

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. Credit: DH File Photo/B K Janardhan

The executive body of the Karnataka BJP on Tuesday threw its weight behind Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s leadership, sidelining speculation on his premature exit ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.

Such was the relief Bommai got that the state executive, which will meet on Wednesday as well, endorsed his style of functioning by hailing his “simplicity” while expressing gratitude for some of his recent welfare measures.

Significantly, the party said it has nothing to do with recent statements made by ministers KS Eshwarappa and Murugesh Nirani. While Eshwarappa had projected Nirani as the future CM, Nirani predicted that Bommai will be elevated as a union minister - both fuelling speculation on leadership change.

“The meeting has sent out a clear message that there’s no question of any change in leadership,” BJP spokesperson P Rajeev said, briefing reporters. 

Also Read | Big changes in Karnataka? Bommai dismisses speculations as 'media creation'

BJP national general secretary Arun Singh, who handles the party’s affairs in the state, warned leaders against speculating on Bommai’s removal or making any statements that would hurt the party’s organisation.

"Both (Union Minister) Pralhad Joshi and Singh said action will be taken on those who speak about the CM changing," senior MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal told reporters separately. "This has left some people disappointed. I can't say who, but there were a few who walked around the corridors of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha during the recent legislature session."

The meeting stressed on the need to strengthen the party-government ties.

Also, it was decided to constitute a fact-finding committee to review the party's embarrassing defeat in the Legislative Council election from the Belgaum local authorities' seat. The party's candidate Mahantesh Kavatagimath lost whereas former BJP minister Ramesh Jarkiholi's brother Lakhan won as an Independent. It is said that Kavatagimath met Singh earlier in the day and sought against the Jarkiholi brothers.

Rajeev said that 19 members did not attend the meeting and that they had sought permission. The absentees included former chief minister BS Yediyurappa and his sons - BJP vice president BY Vijayendra and Shimoga MP BY Raghavendra. Yediyurappa and Raghavendra are in Dubai.

The Jarkiholi brothers also skipped the meeting amid talks that the executive would discuss the Belgaum seat fiasco. 

The executive meeting lauded the decisions of the Bommai government, especially granting extra flood relief aid and renaming the Mumbai-Karnataka region as Kittur Karnataka.

Check out latest DH videos here

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox