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BJP To Weigh In Karnataka’s Caste Calculus in Finalising Yediyurappa’s Replacement

"Yeddyurappa Ji is Chief Minister. Yet if anyone gets any chance except the Lingayat community, then everyone will accept it. But it may harm BJP," said a senior BJP leader from Karnataka on a condition of anonymity.

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Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa addresses media before attending the cabinet meeting at Vidhanasoudha in Bengaluru, Thursday, July 22, 2021. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: All eyes will now be on the Bharatiya Janata Party after the speech by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa at a function in Bengaluru which marked the two years of his government.

Now BJP has few names from which it will make its selection for the Chief Minister of Karnataka; among lingayat leaders, there is Aravind Bellad and Murugesh Nirani. There is Pralhad Venkatesh Joshi from the brahmin caste, other names in the fray include, CN Ashwath Narayan , CT Ravi (both Vokkaligas), Basannagouda Patil Yatnal, and Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s name has also been mentioned.

BJP will zero in on the final candidate to become BSY’s successor in next three days, according to India Ahead sources.

Yediyurappa, a 78-year-old will be replaced with another leader as the BJP high command looks to quell the infighting within the state party unit.

However, it will be difficult for BJP to balance the caste arithmetics in the state as Lingayat seers have thrown their support behind the CM.

Party sources told ANI on Sunday that replacing BS Yediyurappa with a leader, not from the Lingayat community, will harm the chances of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the next elections. Sources added that the BJP MLAs in Karnataka might accept a non-Lingayat as a Chief Minister but it will impact the electoral prospects of the party.

“Yeddyurappa Ji is Chief Minister. Yet if anyone gets any chance except the Lingayat community, then everyone will accept it. But it may harm BJP,” said a senior BJP leader from Karnataka on a condition of anonymity.

However, the leader said that Congress would fail to gain from any losses that are suffered by the BJP if the Lingayats vote banks dump BJP.

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“No, Congress is divided into many camps. Today Congress has four groups, by the time of the elections there will be 10,” the leader said.

The Lingayat community constitutes 17 per cent of Karnataka’s entire population and are firm supporters of Yediyurappa and the BJP.

They can determine the outcomes of 35-40 seats in the state assembly election.

On Sunday, the seers from the Lingayat community held a convention in Bengaluru and extended their support to the Chief Minister.

Dingaleshwara Swami of Balehosur Mutt said Yediyurappa should not be replaced. “Solutions should be found under the leadership of Yediyurappa ji. He should not be replaced. Karnataka will face more problems if he is removed, ” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP President Jagt Prakash Nadda on Sunday denied reports of infighting within the Karnatak party unit.

“It is your thinking, we do not think this way,” said Nadda on being asked whether there is a political crisis in Karnataka.

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Addressing a press conference held in Goa, the BJP chief, who is on a two-day visit to Goa ahead of Assembly elections next year, said Yediyurappa is running Karnataka well.

“He has done good work. He is running Karnataka well. Yediyurappa is handling things on his own,” said Nadda on being asked about Yediyurappa’s leadership.

For the past several weeks, speculations are doing rounds about Yediyurappa’s exit and the change of guard in the state.

Yediyurappa has also said that he will follow whatever instructions he gets from the BJP high command in New Delhi.