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Yatnal’s remarks bring discontent to fore again

Though senior BJP leader Basanagouda Patil Yatnal is known to make sweeping and controversial statements, his remarks that Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s tenure is set to end soon have brought to the fore the simmering discontent among party old-timers who are waiting for a change of guard.

“The party’s old-timers feel that they are left out as outsiders have cornered a sizeable number of Ministerial posts. There is no other way as the government was formed due to their defections. But this has become a cause of dissatisfaction among old timers,” observed a party State leader.

“Mr. Yatnal’s remarks are an indication that several leaders in the BJP especially those from his own Lingayat community are hoping to get a Chief Ministerial opportunity if there is a leadership change,” observed another prominent leader in BJP State unit. Mr. Yatnal’s comments come in the run-up to the bypolls and biennial polls to the Council.

Though several senior leaders sought to immediately clarify that leadership change is not on agenda, none of them took Mr. Yatnal to task, but for those in Mr. Yediyurappa’s camp.

Newly-appointed BJP National General Secretary C.T. Ravi ruled out any leadership change and said Mr. Yediyurappa was the party’s unanimous choice for the post. Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said, “Mr. Yediyurappa is our leader and he will continue as CM.”

On his part, CM’s political secretary M.P. Renukacharya launched a counter attack on Mr. Yatnal. “He is daydreaming of becoming CM. But the chief ministerial post is not vacant. Such views are personal and issued out of selfishness. They are not the views of legislators of North Karnataka,” Mr. Renukacharya said and warned that the party would take suitable action against those issuing such statements on leadership change.

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