A major change took place in Karnataka politics on Monday, silently. Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yediyurappa on Monday announced his resignation ending weeks of speculation about his government. India TV reporter Devender Parashar had already reported on July 17 that the CM would resign on July 26. Till Monday morning, Yediyurappa was saying that he had not received any direction from the party high command to quit, and once the direction is received, he would not take even a minute to resign. This was for public consumption, because the timeline to quit had been set in advance.
In an emotional speech at a function in state assembly premises, to mark completion of two years of his government, during which he broke down several times, the 78-year-old leader announced that he would resign. By late afternoon, he submitted his resignation to Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot.
Yediyurappa said, “I am resigning not out of grief, but out of happiness..Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and J P Nadda showed me lots of love and respect. I was the only person in the party who was an exception to the rule about not giving post to leaders above 75 years”.
He also said, “I had to face agni pariksha (test by fire) at every step from day one(of this government). I was not allowed by our national leaders to expand my cabinet for two months. ..Neither am I aspiring for governor’s post nor will I accept if offered. I am also not retiring from active politics.”
Yediyurappa’s exit was decided two weeks ago and what happened on Monday was only a mere formality. On July 10, Yediyurappa had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking to resign on health grounds. “..With my prevailing health situation, I have not been able to do complete justice in the administration. Hence I am requesting you to relieve me from my position as Chief Minister of Karnataka”, he wrote in his letter.
Yediyurappa is a diabetic and he is having several related health problems. At the age of 78, he is also suffering from lapse of memory and gets exhausted easily. Prime Minister Modi wanted to give him an honourable exit. When Yediyurappa told him that when his government will complete two years of rule on July 26, he should be allowed to resign. Modi agreed to his request. Yediyurappa played a stellar role in building the party from humble grassroots in Karnataka. He has a huge following and is considered one of the big leaders of Karnataka’s influential Lingayat community. Now, BJP is likely to use his vast experience on the national level.
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