Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and BJP’s Karnataka unit chief Nalin Kumar Kateel ruled out leadership change in the State, saying Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would continue till the next election in 2023. “Bommai is going to be the Chief Minister till the next election, which is 2023. There is no leadership change,” Kateel told reporters in Bengaluru.
The Chief Minister, who would complete five months in office in the next couple of days, had turned emotional in his home town Shiggaon in Haveri district a few days ago and said he was aware of the fact that posts and positions were not forever, raising eyebrows. However, Kateel termed these talks of leadership change, a conspiracy. According to him, when senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa became the chief minister, speculations started about his exit but he remained in power for two years. “This news (about Bommai’s exit) is a figment of imagination. I feel this is a conspiracy to create confusion, problem in the state politics and to defame the BJP government,” Kateel said.
He suspected the involvement of Congress behind spreading the rumours. Kateel also ruled out Bommai going abroad for the treatment of his knee related ailment.
“He is not going abroad. There is nothing wrong with his health but only some leg related issues for which he is getting treatment. He is healthy. His leg related problem will be cured here only,” Kateel said. He added that Bommai was supposed to go abroad from the government side, which has been postponed. Hence, the foreign trip has been cancelled.
Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi too dismissed the issue of leadership change. “I have made it clear several times that Basavaraj Bommai will remain as Chief Minister till 2023 and under his leadership, the government is performing well and bringing good name,” Joshi told reporters in Hubballi.
He said it was wrong to spread such news as there was no issue of leadership change. “There is no leadership change. I am always in touch with our national level leaders regularly and I have good relationship with them. If such was the case, then certainly I would have come to know. There is no such proposal. He is doing a good job,” the union minister said.
Ruling out Bommai’s foreign trip, Joshi said such speculations should not be given any credence. To a query on cabinet rejig, Joshi said there were no such discussions happening at the state and national level as of now.