PM’s Meeting With BS Yediyurappa Prompts Leadership Talk In Karnataka

PM Modi met Karnataka’s former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a 15-minute meeting with Karnataka’s former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday on the sidelines of the BJP national executive.

Karnataka is one of the states going to polls this year. Poll strategy for these nine states was the key agenda of the ongoing two-day executive meet in New Delhi, which is being attended by PM Modi and the key leaders and ministers of the party.

Since being removed from the top post in Karnataka – the only southern state where the BJP has made a breakthrough – Mr Yediyurappa, who has a large base of Lingayat supporters, has been keeping a low profile. But with the polls approaching, the BJP’s original strongman in the south has been elevated to the parliamentary board – the party’s highest decision-making body.

The meeting with PM Modi has raised speculation about a turn in fortune for the four-time Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Mr Yediyurappa’s successor, Basavaraj Bommai, has been in news more for the wrong reasons than right.

Mr Bommai’s tenure in the top post had looked shaky last year as the opposition heaped corruption allegations against him and started the PayCM campaign. But the party had maintained that there will be no change and the state will go to polls under his leadership.

Amit Shah, the BJP’s chief strategist, has handed the Karnataka unit a “Mission 136” – winning 136 of the state’s 224 seats. But it could be an uphill task in the backdrop of the Congress challenge in Karnataka, one of the few states where the party has ground-level support.

The BJP came to power in the southern state for a third time in Karnataka as the alliance government of the Congress and HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular collapsed following an exodus by its MLAs. The ruling alliance had accused the BJP of running an Operation Lotus – – toppling an opposition government by poaching on its MLAs.

Mr Bommai and the party’s state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel also met the state general secretary in-charge Arun Singh.

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