BENGALURU: The decision to elevate Laxman Savadi, who lost the 2018 assembly elections has left many in the BJP stunned. They are viewing it as an attempt to decentralise Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s authority over the government and the party. However, Savadi chooses to disagree. In an interview with Ramu Patil for The New Indian Express, Savadi clarified that there was no question of overtaking Yediyurappa. “He is our leader,” he said. Excerpts.
Were you expecting your appointment as Deputy Chief Minister?
No. I have never asked for anything in life. I think the party leaders noticed my way of working gave me this responsibility. It is not in my nature to put pressure on someone to get anything. National leaders may have thought that I would bring a good name to the party and the Government. I will work in that direction.
How would you respond to opposition within the BJP over your appointment?
In politics, no one is a ‘sanyasi.’ Everyone will have expectations and they will get the opportunity at some time. We all have to be patient and loyal to the party. It is natural for them to put-forth their demands and I think all of them will get opportunities in the future. We will take everyone along and work like members of one big family.
Were you given any directions from the high command on your responsibilities as DyCM?
No. There have been no specific directions or discussion on it.
There is a perception that DyCMs are appointed to decentralize Yediyurappa’s authority and groom the next line of leaders in the party?
Yediyurappa is our leader and there is no question of overtaking him. DyCMs have been appointed to supplement and complement his efforts. It is not done with the intention to sideline him. Our party national leaders took the decision to appoint three DyCMs with a foresight to win 150 seats in the next assembly elections after three-and-half years. We have to strengthen Yediyurappa’s leadership and bring good name to the government and the party. We will work according to the directions of our party leaders.
What are your priorities as Transport Minister?
It is a very important department. We need to make it more efficient by stopping pilferage and bringing down the losses. We don’t have to focus too much on making profits. It is okay even if it is a no-profit no-loss model as our focus will be on providing good service to people. We need to post good officers to provide good services across the state, from Bengaluru to rural areas.