Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has threatened to quit from his post after the seer of Panchamasali Guru Peetha sought a Cabinet berth for a certain BJP MLA. While addressing an event at Harihara, Vachanananda Swamiji, a prominent Lingayat seer, said that the community will withdraw support to BJP if MLA Murugesh Nirani is not given a place in the Cabinet.
"Chief Minister, you are a good person, Murugesh Nirani (BJP MLA) has helped you a lot, he has stood by you..if you leave his hands this time, the united Panchamasali community will leave your hands," he said.
Yediyurappa, who was seated next to him, rose and threatened to leave the stage. "If you speak like this I will go away…what are you speaking…kindly pardon me, I will leave, you should not speak like this, if you speak like this I can’t work..you can give me suggestions, you cannot threaten me," the CM said.
The seer was then seen convincing the Chief Minister and asked him to take his seat. Swamiji said he was not threatening him but was putting forward the rights of the community.
Nirani is a BJP MLA from Bilgi. He was the Industries minister in the previous Yediyurappa government. He was present on the stage when the incident occurred.
Yeddiyurappa is slated to expand his Cabinet later this month. He is waiting for a clearance from the BJP high command for expanding his Cabinet. The Cabinet expansion is likely to see many Congress and JD(S) rebels.
Over a dozen MLAs of the coalition had resigned last year, helping the BJP gain a thin majority in the Assembly. In the bypolls held in December, the BJP won 12 of the 15 seats. The party had fielded 13 MLAs who quit the HD Kumaraswamy led government and joined the BJP just ahead of the bypolls.
Yediyurappa pointed out that he has come to power in the state because of the Congress-JD(S) MLAs who rebelled against the then coalition government. The Chief Minister said he was not selfish and was even ready to resign.
"Vachanananda Swamiji has spoken, through you I request him to understand my situation also. If 17 legislators (Congress-JDS), few even as ministers, had not resigned and stayed away, Yediyurappa could not have occupied this Chief Minister position. You (swamiji) need not make people raise their hands on any demand, if you tell me, I’m ready to listen to you," he said.