NEW DELHI: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here amid speculation about possible changes in the state leadership and the Cabinet.
After a short 20-minute meeting, the CM told reporters at the Karnataka Bhawan here that they discussed only the pending state works including the Mekedatu dam project over the Cauvery river.
"I requested the PM to facilitate early implementation of some state works. He has agreed for all," Yediyurappa said.
When asked if they discussed the possible changes in the state leadership, he responded with a smile, "I don't know. You have to tell."
The meeting came at a time political circles are abuzz with speculations of Yediyurappa being replaced as the chief minister.
Repeated open remarks by some disgruntled leaders within the state BJP targeting him and his family with accusations of corruption and interference in administration have embarrassed the party and the government, despite warnings of disciplinary action by the leadership.
Another section of the party is demanding the replacement of Yediyurappa (79) citing his age and the need of projecting a new CM face ahead of assembly polls in 2023, sources said.
On possible cabinet rejig, Yediyurappa, before the meeting, said, "I will tell you if there is any such discussion with (party) seniors over the restructuring or expansion of the Cabinet."
An official statement issued after the meeting said the CM discussed various state issues with the PM.
"During the meeting, the CM requested to declare Upper Bhadra Project as National project and also sought a financial assistance of Rs 6000 crore for Bengaluru Peripheral Ring Road project," the statement said.
He also discussed the Mekedatu project and establishing a US Consulate in the state, it said.
The chief minister's secretary, Gorish Hosur, was also present in the meeting.
Before the meeting, the CM had asserted the state has got every right to implement the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery River and will start the work.
Tamil Nadu has been opposing the project vehemently.
"They (TN) have been opposing us since the beginning but we have got our rights. I request them not to disturb us," he said, assuring Tamil Nadu that the implementation of the proposed project will not create any problem for them.
"I have written to them (TN CM) about the matter, but they are not letting us (implement the project). There is no need to have confusion. I want to assure my state that we will 100 per cent implement the Mekedatu project," he added.
Separately, the CM also met newly appointed four central ministers from Karnataka over a dinner at the Karnataka Bhawan here.
The CM also said he will meet some of the Center's key ministers including Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh on Saturday.
He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide at least 1.5 crore doses of Covid vaccine to the state every month.
Yediyurappa put forth the demand for vaccines during a virtual meeting chaired by Modi with the chief ministers of various states to review the COVID-19 situation, said a statement issued by his office.
The Chief Minister explained that the COVID cases in Karnataka have declined to 1,900 a day.
In Bengaluru, it has come down to about 400 cases a day.
While the daily positivity rate is 1.42 per cent, the death rate too has come down to 1.25 per cent, he added.
Stating that Karnataka has so far received 2.62 crore vaccines, the chief minister requested the Prime Minister to provide 1.5 crore doses of the vaccine with a targeted 5 lakh doses everyday, the statement read.
Yediyurappa also told Modi that the district authorities have been authorised to impose sanctions depending on the positivity rate of COVID-19, the number of cases and the opinion of the Technical Advisory Committee.
The district officials have also been told to initiate appropriate action against those not following the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing face mask.
As the Prime Minister asked the state governments to gear up for the possible third wave, Yediyurappa said the government is enhancing the oxygenated beds, ventilator beds and pediatric ICUs in hospitals.
The number of doctors, paramedics and lab technicians in the hospitals have been increased.
In addition, a large number of tools for treating COVID are also being purchased and new RT-PCR laboratories and Genome Sequencing Laboratories are also being set up in the state, Yediyurappa told Modi.
Yediyurappa requested funds under the PM CARES fund for increasing the allocation of vaccines and to set up 800 neonatal and pediatric ventilators.
In addition, the Chief Minister urged Modi to allocate 40 PSA oxygen production units at Taluk hospitals and decentralisation of the distribution of liquid medical oxygen.
He also appealed to increase the supply of amphotericin-B to treat Mucormycosis and increase the intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) distribution for children.
During the video conference, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and senior government officials were present representing the Centre, while Deputy Chief Ministers Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and Govind Karjol, Revenue Minister R Ashoka, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar were present.