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CM-designate Bommai downplays charges against Vijayendra, calls Yediyurappa his ‘political guru’

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister designate Basavaraj S Bommai has played down corruption charges and possible interference of BY Vijayendra, BS Yediyurappa’s son and BJP vice-president, in administrative affairs and called the outgoing CM as his political guru.

“Everything is transparent. Therefore, I would not like to comment on this issue. My administration will be authentic. This is the BJP government. I will have all the freedom. I will give pro-people’s administration. From time to time, I will take guidance from senior party leaders,” Mr Bommai said yesterday night when he was asked on the issue of Vijayendra’s administrative interference and if he would look into the allegations of corruption charges against him.

Vijayendra has been accused of interfering in the administration by several BJP leaders, especially senior leader and former union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal. His administrative interferences were the main reasons for growing disgruntlement against Yediyurappa’s leadership within the party.

He has also been accused of moving files after receiving kickbacks. MLC H Vishwanath of BJP said, “The files are being cleared after receiving kickbacks, This is the system of Vijayendra. Ten per cent kickbacks were received out of a tender worth more than Rs 20,000 crore. Is this government pro-contractors? This is a people’s government,” he said.

Vishwanath is one of the 16 leaders who had deserted the JDS and Congress to form the Yediyurappa government.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Governor Thawarchand Gehlot at Raj Bhavan, Bommai, whose candidature as the chief minister was proposed by Yediyurappa in the BJP Legislature Party meeting yesterday, said the Lingayat strongman is his political guru and would seek his guidance to fulfil his dreams of giving a pro-people’s, pro-farmers, pro-Dalits and pro-women’s administration.

“It is because of Yediyurappa I have reached this position. He is the reason for my growth in politics. He is my political guru. Yediyurappa has built this party by working day and night and dropping his sweat,” he said.

Bommai said, on priority basis, he wants to make all dreams of Yediyurappa come true, especially the schemes announced in the state budget. He also wants to rescue and provide relief measures to people facing severe floods and Covid.

Asked if he was in the race for the coveted post, Bommai said he does not believe in race, but decisions. “I don’t believe in race, but believe in decisions. The party seniors decided and legislators proposed, and I have received our leader Yediyurappa’s blessings,” he said.

Today at 11 am, Bommai is scheduled to take oath as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka at Raj Bhavan. After that he plans to initiate programmes including ministry formation in the coming week.

“I am getting in touch with all the leaders on the phone. By morning, I will complete the job of contacting them. After the swearing-in ceremony, I will take up whatever programmes (including forming new council of minister) are there in the coming week,” Chief Minister designate Basavaraj Bommai told reporters when he was asked about formation of the new ministry after he was chosen as the successor to Yediyurappa at BJP Legislature Party Meeting.

The council of ministers led by caretaker chief minister BS Yediyurappa was dissolved by Karnataka Governor Gehlot immediately after the Lingayat strongman tendered his resignation.

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