Bengaluru: Denying that he was lobbying to replace Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who seems to be on his way out, Karnataka Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R Nirani said he will abide by any decision taken by the BJP central leadership.
Addressing reporters here, Nirani said he was an ordinary BJP functionary and it was his duty to follow the party’s diktat.
The minister further added that the BJP is a disciplined party and unlike other parties lobbying for posts will not work here.
As Yediyurappa had announced that he would abide by the top leadership’s instruction on July 25, speculation is rife that Nirani is among those who would be the next chief minister.
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”There has been no instruction for replacing Chief Minister Yediyurappa. He is still our leader and we all are with him. The BJP top brass will take a decision on the CM post and we have to abide by it,” the minister said.
Nirani, who visited Delhi about a fortnight ago and termed his visit ‘successful,’ reiterated his support to Yediyurappa.
To a question on lobbying, Nirani said ”I never lobbied for any post in my life. I will shoulder the responsibility bestowed on me by the party. Our national leaders will choose the right person for the CM post after considering all the factors.”
Stating that he was not after any post, the minister said all the 120 BJP legislators are qualified to become the chief minister.
He added that he got many positions without aspiring for one and was made a minister by the party after getting elected for the first time.
”Even now I am bestowed with a huge responsibility. I never aspired for any post in the past nor am I going to do now,” Nirani clarified.
As his visit to Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi triggered speculation that he went to seek blessings before assuming the new role, the minister sought to downplay it.
Asking people not to draw any inferences from his Varanasi visit, he said he has had the habit of visiting temples since childhood and goes there once in a month or two.
Nirani, a three-time BJP MLA, is an industrialist who owns the MRN Group, which runs sugar mills.