Karnataka: Probe ‘CM-change’ audio clip, says Nalin Kumar Kateel | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel on Monday denied that it was his voice in a viral audio clip hinting at leadership change in Karnataka. He said that chief minister BS Yediyurappa was the unanimous leader and soul of the state unit, and he would seek a probe over the clip.
“I have written to the CM, requesting a complete inquiry. Let the truth come out through the inquiry,” Kateel told reporters before leaving for Delhi. He has claimed in the letter that the voice in the clip was doctored. “I have already filed a complaint in this connection with the Mangaluru police,” he added.
The recording surfaced on Sunday, adding to the speculation about Yediyurappa’s stay in office. The timing raised eyebrows because he had just returned from Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP members. Yediyurappa had dismissed the chatter about his possible exit while he was in Delhi and after flying back to Bengaluru, he said that the brass had asked him to continue leading Karnataka.
But the clip, which also contains comments on ministers Jagadish Shettar and KS Eshwarappa’s stint, revived speculation that BJP was working on a succession plan. “Don’t tell anybody… The entire team of Eshwarappa, Shettar will be removed. Three names are there (for the CM’s post), but they won’t be considered. They will appoint someone from Delhi itself,” a man says in the recording. Some in political circles believe the voice resembles Kateel’s, an observation he rejected on Monday.
Denying any link with the clip, Kateel said in Mangaluru that no discussion on leadership or any other change in the party had taken place. “Yediyurappa is the aatma (soul) of our party and our unanimous leader. Senior to all of us, he has built the party to this level after several years of struggle. Eshwarappa and Shettar are like two eyes. Under their guidance, the party and the government will function,” he said.
On the viral clip, he said: “I have no one to blame. Let the truth come out.”
Eshwarappa, the rural development and panchayat raj minister, said in Shivamogga that he didn’t want to stick to any position forever and would quit if the party asked him, adding that younger people were being given positions across the country. “I am already 72 years old. But that does not mean I will go and resign tomorrow. I am committed to following the party’s decision,” he said.
Eshwarappa refused to comment on the contents of the recording, but backed Kateel. “Don’t make him (Kateel) a scapegoat. He has been working hard to strengthen the party,” he said.

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