Visits to BJP MLAs and leaders of the Lingayat community by former minister Jagadish Shettar in the company of party leader Prahlad Joshi have raised suspicions of backdoor efforts to force a leadership change in the state.
There have been rumours for some time that the chief minister’s position may soon see a change. Though senior BJP leaders have been giving public statements that B S Yediyurappa will complete his full term, clandestine moves on the part of some leaders within the BJP have raised suspicions.
Jagadish Shettar has become increasingly active since rumours of change in leadership were first heard. It is speculated that he is hoping to become the chief minister once again. Shettar has appeared with several BJP MLAs of the Lingayat community including chief minister Yediyurappa’s close aide and political secretary M P Renukacharya. He also visited the state governor recently. It is said that he has raised several political matters and discussed chief minister Yediyurappa and his son Vijayendra with him on the pretext of apprising him the department’s achievements. Union minister Prahlad Joshi too is supporting him in his task.
Jagadish Shettar has also gone to Delhi and met several leaders there. He has held discussions with union minister D V Sadananda Gowda and BJP national organizing secretary B L Santhosh. He was seen with top leaders in recent photographs.
A group of MLAs has alleged that though Yediyurappa is the CM, it is his son B Y Vijayendra who takes decisions on financial matters and deals. Several leaders within the BJP thus feel that a leadership change in the state would be desirable.
Moreover, the recent meeting between B S Yediyurappa and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has caused much curiosity in political circles, giving rise to speculations that the two rivals may become join hands once again and that Kumarasamy would rush to Yediyurappa’s rescue in case of any trouble. This has again indicated a possible threat to Yediyurappa’s position from his own party leaders.