In a boost for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who has come under fire from the opposition for being slow to deal with right-wing communal groups, BJP national chairman JP Nadda said on Sunday that Karnataka was being led to a golden age of development by the triumvirate. of Prime Minister Modi, Bommai and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
“I have not come here to give you a lecture but to tell you that with the blessing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under the leadership of Basavaraj Bommai, and with the grace of BS Yediyurappa, Karnataka can advance towards an age of gold of development,” Nadda said at a BJP state executive meeting in Vijayanagar on Sunday.
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“We are all very, very lucky to work in the BJP when there is a towering leader like Narendra Modi who is not just a national leader but an international figure,” Nadda said. “Only the BJP is a national party and all the others are family parties and no other party is an ideological party.”
“There is no leader from the Congress party or any regional party who can come forward and talk about what they are going to do to change people’s lives. They will talk about issues of caste, regionalism and language, they will talk about causing divisions but they will have no say in wiping the tears of the poor,” the BJP Chairman said.
He expressed confidence that the Karnataka BJP will score another victory in the state in the assembly elections scheduled for next year. “I am not only satisfied with the functioning of the BJP in Karnataka, but I am also fully confident that you will fight with all your might in the mission rehearsal,” Nadda said.
The state executive meeting was held amid continuous turnover in the Karnataka BJP over several issues including the leadership of the chief minister, the state party chairman and several ministers. There has been speculation of impending changes in the Karnataka government following the conclusion of the state executive committee meeting.
A question mark has been hanging over the future of Chief Minister Bommai for several months. During a recent visit to Delhi for cabinet change talks, Bommai did not receive a favorable response from the BJP leadership.
Bommai was unable to meet Interior Minister Amit Shah during the visit. Hours after Bommai left Delhi, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar – seen as a possible challenger to Bommai in some circles – posted a photo of his meeting with Shah on social media.
On Saturday, Arun Singh, the central BJP leader who is in charge of Karnataka, said Bommai was an “ordinary man and a simple man”.
One of the other possible changes being speculated on is that of the state interior minister, Araga Jnanendra. In a sign that the BJP may be unhappy with the functioning of the Home Secretary, Senior MP Basavaraj Patil Yatnal, who aspires to enter the Cabinet, said over the weekend that Jnanendra was a good man but not suitable for the wallet.
There is speculation that the BJP may seek to bring in a young leader with strong right-wing credentials as Home Secretary ahead of the state elections.
The state executive meeting came amid the exit of top BJP leader KS Eshwarappa from the Cabinet after being linked to the death of a civilian contractor who had previously accused him of corruption in clearance of invoices for civil contract works executed for the rural development department.
Eshwarappa was a notable absence from the state executive meeting.
Eshwarappa’s exit left five vacancies in the Bommai cabinet against a full complement of 34 ministers.