"We will one hundred per cent win Athani and Kagwad assembly constituency with the cooperation of Laxman Savadi. I want to make it clear to voters of this region and to our workers that Laxman Savadi will continue as the Deputy Chief Minister and district in-charge Minister," Yediyurappa said.
Amid speculations about his Deputy Laxman Savadi’s continuity in the government after the December 5 bypolls, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday assured that he would remain in office for full term. BJP which made Savadi Deputy Chief Minister, despite him not being a legislator, has denied him ticket to contest the bypoll from Athani, leading to speculations about his continuity in the Ministry.
“We will one hundred per cent win Athani and Kagwad assembly constituency with the cooperation of Laxman Savadi. I want to make it clear to voters of this region and to our workers that Laxman Savadi will continue as the Deputy Chief Minister and district in-charge Minister,” Yediyurappa said. Speaking to reporters in Athani, he said, “If voters here think that Laxman Savadi will have problem after this bypolls, there is no meaning to it, National President (BJP-Amit Shah) himself has given this assurance that he will continue as Deputy Chief for full term, for remaining 3.5 years.”
“Initially there were some differences and confusion in Athani, everything has been resolved by Savadi. A rebel who had filed nomination has also withdrawn. Its Savadi’s responsibility to win both the seats (Athani and neighboring Kagwad),” he added. BJP has fielded disqualified Congress legislator Mahesh Kumatalli, who had defeated Savadi in 2018 assembly polls as the party candidate from Athani. Another disqualified Congress MLA Shrimant Patil was party candidate from Kagwad.
Savadi, who was sulking after being denied the ticket, agreed to campaign for party candidate in the bypolls after persuasion from Yediyurappa and other party leaders including Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Savadi was made Deputy Chief Minister despite him not being a member of the Assembly nor or the Council. His induction into the cabinet had caused resentment among several senior BJP MLAs as they felt sidelined.
Savadi can continue as non legislator Minister for six months, till February. Party sources had said, he was staring at a possibility of being dropped from the Cabinet, with the talks doing rounds that disqualified Congress legislator from Gokak-Ramesh Jarkiholi may be made Deputy Chief Minister on getting elected in the bypolls. However, the sources said there were possibilities of retaining Savadi by making him an MLC, if the leadership feels fit.
Noting that all leaders of the party were working unitedly for the bypolls, Yediyurappa said, by winning all 15 seats we would give a fitting reply to Congress-JD(S) leaders, and I’m hundred per cent confident that we would win all the seats. “In Shivajinagar, in an unexpected development our candidate will win with a huge margin,” he said adding the results of this bypolls would help us give a good administration for 3.5 years.
Responding to a question about statements by opposition leaders that the government would collapse after the bypolls, Yediyurappa said people would give a reply to Congress and JD (S) leaders. “I’m confident, till now my calculations have not gone wrong. I want to ask Siddaramaiah how many Lok Sabha seats did you win in Karnataka? You won only one seat with great difficulty. I had said 22 or 23 but won 25- how did it happen? People are with BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
JD(S) too was at least able to win just one seat in Lok Sabha, but among these 15 seats in the bypolls, they wont be able to win even one, he added. To a query on political developments in Maharashtra, Yediyurappa said, “Devendra Fadnavis is a good administrator, I was confident that he will hundred per cent become Chief Minister. There was some confusion, it has all been resolved and he has taken oath as the Chief Minister this morning. He will continue as the Chief Minister for full term.”