Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 26 (ANI): Keeping tight-lipped on the speculations of leadership change in Karnataka, BJP General Secretary CT Ravi on Monday said only the time shall tell what is going to happen in the state, adding that Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and shall continue to guide the state as well as the party.
Stating that there are reports on the change of chief minister in the state, Ravi said that he does not know "What is truth, what is lies".
Congratulating Karnataka Chief Minister on the completion of two years in the current term, Ravi said Yediyurappa is the senior leader in the party and shall continue to guide the state as well as the party.
Speaking to ANI, Ravi said, "Today Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's second year in the fourth term has completed. He has done good work. He will continue to guide Karnataka and BJP. Yediyurappa ji is our senior leader. There are various reports in the news. What is the truth what is a lie, I really do not know. What is going to happen, only time shall decide. I cannot speak much on this issue."
Meanwhile, extending his wishes on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Ravi said, "Today is Kargil Vijay Diwas. 23 years ago, the brave son of 'Bharat Mata' Vikram Batra sacrificed his life for the country's victory. On this occasion, I pay my tributes to all the soldiers. The soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Kargil war, their contribution and sacrifices are unforgettable. It was only because of their sacrifices that India could win the war."
Amid speculations of leadership change in Karnataka, sources on Sunday said that replacing four-time chief minister BS Yediyurappa, a Lingayat strongman, from somebody from another community would not be favourable for BJP.
However, sources in the party said that the BJP functionary in Karnataka will accept if leadership nominates anyone who is not from the Lingayat community as the Chief Minister, but the decision might harm the party's position in the state.
"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.
When asked if Congress might gain political ground from leadership change in the Karnataka government, the BJP leader said, "No, Congress is divided into many camps. Today Congress has four groups, by the time of the elections will be 10."
They asserted that BJP will form the government again after the next election.
Lingayats are the largest community of Karnataka consisting of nearly 17 per cent of the population. The Community is known to have some firm supporters of the BJP and Yediyurappa and can determine the outcome of 35 to 40 per cent Assembly seats.
On Sunday, seers of different Lingayat mutts held a convention in Bengaluru's Palace Grounds and extended their support to Yediyurappa. 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 National President Jagat Prakash Nadda on Sunday also ruled out any crisis in the party's state unit and said Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has done a good job.
"It is your thinking, we do not think this way," said Nadda on being asked whether there is a political crisis in Karnataka.
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.
On Thursday, Yediyurappa had expressed to abide by the party's high command decision and asserted that he will follow the directions of the BJP chief. Yediyurappa strongly denied having tendered his resignation amid speculations about leadership change in Karnataka earlier.
Last month, some BJP MLAs had demanded that Yediyurappa must step down as chief minister. State Tourism Minister CP Yogeeshwara in a statement had said that instead of the Chief Minister, his son has been ruling and controlling the Ministries of Karnataka.
BJP MLC AH Vishwanath also said that 80 per cent of BJP legislators, who met the national general secretary in charge of the State Arun Singh, were of the view that leadership in the state should be changed.
Yediyurappa, however, refuting all allegations had said that confusion among members would be cleared. He also said, "I will resign the day party high command asks me to quit. I do not speak about the rumours and the speculation created by some of the ministers and legislators." (ANI)