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‘Will resign’: Yediyurappa after Lingayat seer seeks cabinet berth for MLA

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 6 days ago HT Correspondent

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday threatened to resign after a seer belonging to the Panchamsali sect of Lingayats demanded that Murugesh Nirani, a BJP MLA, be inducted into the cabinet failing which he would face the wrath of the community.

B. S. Yeddyurappa standing in front of a crowd: Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa ls yet to expand his cabinet after the BJP swept the assembly bypolls last month. (HT PHOTO) © Provided by Hindustan Times Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa ls yet to expand his cabinet after the BJP swept the assembly bypolls last month. (HT PHOTO)

At an event of the Panchamsali sect in Harihar, Swami Vachanand addressing the thousands gathered with the CM seated next to him said "Murugesh Nirani has stood with you like a rock. Induct him into the cabinet, otherwise the Panchamsali Lingayats will abandon their support to you."

An agitated Yediyurappa immediately got up and was heard telling the Swami, 'Don't threaten me. You can advise but don't threaten." The Swami, however, insisted that his community was 'demanding justice.'

Community and BJP leaders including home minister Basvraj Bommai tried to mollifying the CM. Later addressing the audience, Yediyurappa said, "17 MLAs including some ministers made sacrifices and are in Vanvas. Either co-operate with me in helping complete remaining three years of my term successfully, otherwise I will resign because I am not addicted to power."

Though the BJP now has a full majority of 117 seats in a 225 member assembly (including a nominated member), after the party swept bypolls winning 12 of the 15 seats, Yediyurappa has been struggling to expand his cabinet. The BJP high command is yet to green light Yeddyurappa's election promise to induct all the 11 'rebel' MLAs who switched from Congress and JD (S) into the cabinet.

Murugesh Nirani speaking to reporters later said, "Yeddyurappa is like a father to us. Even if he says something it will be in our interest only." He also expressed confidence that the BJP government would complete its full term.

Yediyurappa earlier had said that he would consult BJP President Amit Shah who will be in the state on January 18 to address a pro-CAA rally and then expand the cabinet.

Also watch: Karnataka: RSS stages protest against construction of Jesus Christ statue Kanakapura (Video by The Times of India)

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Congress Spokesperson V S Ugrappa taunted the CM saying, "Yeddyurappa is not a tiger but a rat. He is not able to even get even an audience with Modi. After promising to induct the rebel MLAs within 24 hours of winning, he hasn't been able to do anything. Wouldn't be surprised if he resigns due to political frustration and inability to have his way."

Political analyst Manjunath said the CM's outburst indicated his frustration with his party's high command and his inability to honour the promise he made to the MLAs who crossed over from the opposition. "While he is seen as the undisputed and tallest leader among Lingayats, he would not have expected this kind of public pressure being applied by a seer of his own community, which probably would have lead to this outburst. It is also his way of pressurising the BJP party high command into taking a decision on cabinet expansion."

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