BS Yediyurappa has announced his resignation as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, ending suspense on the possible change of guard in the state. He met Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot to submit his resignation. Yediyurappa's resignation comes on a day when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state is celebrating its second anniversary.
"I have decided to resign. I will meet the Governor after lunch," Yediyurappa said on Monday at a programme to mark the celebration of two years of his government. Yediyurappa said he has the "lone target" of toiling for the next two years and bringing the BJP back to power in Karnataka, where assembly elections are due in 2023.
"It has been an honour to have served the state for the past two years. I have decided to resign as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. I am humbled and sincerely thank the people of the state for giving me the opportunity to serve them. I am grateful to PM Narendra Modi Ji, JP Nadda Ji & Amit Shah Ji for their support," he tweeted separately.
The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman was considered the face of the BJP in the state in the past two decades. Earlier on Sunday, he had dropped hints that he could resign when the politician said that he "will continue to work for the BJP for the next 10-15 years".
"Nobody pressurised me to resign. I did it on my own so that someone else can take over as CM after the completion of 2 years of govt. I'll work to bring BJP back in power in the next election. I have not given the name of anyone who should succeed me," the outgoing CM told reporters later.
Yediyurappa had visited Delhi earlier this month during which he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president JP Nadda. The trip raised questions in some quarters if the party is now working out a succession plan. On his return from the national capital, Yediyurappa had, however, then dismissed reports that he is on the way out.
An eight-time MLA from Shikaripura constituency in Shimoga district, Yediyurappa served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka for a record four times (November 12, 2007 to November 19, 2007 | May 30, 2008 to July 31, 2011 | May 17, 2018 to May 19, 2018 | July 26, 2019 to July 26, 2021). He is the only man to serve as the CM for four times in Karnataka and also the only one to serve 3 times as the leader of the opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Yediyurappa became the Chief Minister after leading BJP to a victory in the 2008 Assembly polls. This was the first time when the saffron party stormed to power in any of the southern states. He, however, he resigned in 2011 after being indicted in a corruption case. The BJP leader was acquitted in 2016. He had even floated his own political party -- Karnataka Janata Paksha. In 2014, he merged his party with the BJP.