Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Lingayat strongman and senior BJP leader BS Yediyurappa for about 15 minutes on the sidelines of BJP’s National Executive Committee meeting at the national capital, fueling speculations about giving him a bigger responsibility ahead of this year’s assembly polls in Karnataka.
The meeting between the two leaders was confirmed by a noted BJP functionary on Tuesday.
Yediyurappa, who was elevated to the party’s parliamentary board committee, is the tallest leader among all the BJP leaders in the state, he commands tremendous grip over Lingayat community who have been voting for the party ever since their leader Virendra Patil was unceremoniously removed from Congress party.
Ever since his inclusion in the highest decision-making body, Yediyurappa has been actively touring the state in the wake of BJP launching Mission South for both state and central elections.
Among the southern states, Karnataka is the main focal point for the BJP which wants to retain power. If it succeeds there, it will be a morale booster for the party to go all out to win at least Telangana in South India.
The saffron party over the last five years has made strident march in local body elections in Hyderabad and other places in a state where KCR’s party is facing anti-incumbency.
Expectedly, the central leadership would give Yediyurappa more responsibilities to ensure victory for the party in upcoming elections in southern states, especially Karnataka.
Obviously, the Lingayat strongman will get to have a say in ticket distribution mechanisms in the garb of being the party’s parliamentary board member.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel made presentations before the central leaders regarding the state unit’s plans and preparations for the Assembly polls.
It is learnt that Bommai has explained the political scenarios in the state and potential victory numbers before the party’s top brass.
Emerging out of the meeting, Bommai late on Monday night told reporters that the party will hold four yatras after the budget session.
“We held discussions extensively on various subjects related to the state. I have explained the political situation. We have decided to hold 4 yatras in 4 directions of the state after the budget session. The details of the yatra will be finalised soon,” he said.
Asked about cabinet expansion, the CM said there was no discussion on the subject.