BENGALURU : Emotions were running high in Krishna, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s official residence, on Sunday after he stumped everyone by declaring he would resign if asked to. Hours after the statement, cabinet colleagues Basavaraj Bommai and R Ashoka came out in passionate defence of his leadership, in an attempt at damage control as well as shutting up detractors. Home Minister Bommai, perhaps Yediyurappa’s closest aide in the cabinet currently, said the Chief Minister was clearly hurt over repeated rumours of leadership change.
“One must understand that if the 2018 poll mandate is in anyone’s name, it is Yediyurappa’s. He went to every village as part of Parivarthana yatra and sought votes, people responded and gave him votes. They voted for BJP and for Yediyurappa’s leadership. When there were not enough seats to form the government, MLAs from other parties came to BJP and this government was formed. His baiters should understand that,” Bommai said.
Revenue Minister R Ashoka, too, said that recent political developments have hurt Yediyurappa. “He has been working 24/7, unlike chief ministers of states like Maharashtra who refuse to step out of their houses. Yediyurappa has visited hospitals, held back-to-back meetings and worked hard for people’s welfare. Repeated questioning of his leadership seems to have hurt him and he may have said what he did,” Ashoka said.
He added that central leaders like Pralhad Joshi and CT Ravi, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel and even minister C P Yogeeshwara have backed Yediyurappa. Both leaders spoke to the media after a long discussion with Yediyurappa over his statement. Sources close to the Chief Minister suggested that his outburst was not anticipated and some damage control was required, and the responsibility fell on Bommai and Ashoka. Both leaders, while defending Yediyurappa, also insisted that action will be taken against those publicly humiliating the CM and the party.