Vishwanath says leadership change matter of time; CM retorts

Yediyurappa says party high command will decide on action against MLC

The turmoil within the BJP over leadership issue continued to be in the limelight on the last day of party general secretary Arun Singh’s visit to Karnataka. While party MLC A.H. Vishwanath on Friday said it was a matter of time before the high command effects leadership change, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said the high command would take a call on action against the former.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Vishwanath reiterated, “The BJP leadership in the State is collapsing. This will not help the party and the government. Hence there is a dire need to replace Mr. Yediyurappa.”

‘Not the only one’

Saying that he was not the only person who was demanding leadership change, Mr. Vishwanath claimed that 80% of the MLAs who met party the national general secretary during the consultations had sought the same.

Responding to reports that the party State leaders had sought action against him, Mr. Vishwanath said, “I have never spoken against party ideology and programmes. I am only speaking about morality which is crucial for the party.”

Mr. Yediyurappa had gone to jail earlier due to the actions of his family members, Mr. Vishwanath said, adding that he was concerned that the Chief Minister should not go to jail again as his family members were interfering in administration. “The government does not belong to a particular family,” he said. He linked the Chief Minister’s son’s visits to Delhi to an Enforcement Directorate case.

Meanwhile, responding to the public statements of Mr. Vishwanath, Mr. Yediyurappa said the BJP high command would decide what action was to be taken against the MLC for demanding change in leadership in Karnataka and for accusing his son of interfering in the affairs of the government.

Responding to a query, Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters, “I will not comment…The party high command will decide what kind of action is to be taken against the MLC.”

‘Only one or two’

The Chief Minister maintained that there was no dissidence activity in the BJP. “Only one or two MLAs are speaking against me,” he said.

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