As he turns 78, Yediyurappa says his achievements due to people''s "blessings & faith"

Source: PTI | Published on 26th February 2020, 7:59 PM | State News | Don't Miss |

Bengaluru: As he turns 78 on Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said whatever he has achieved is a result of the people's "blessings and faith" and requested well-wishers not to bring bouquets, flowers, shawls, sweets, turbans or any souvenirs on the occasion.

A large-scale "non-partisan" event would be held Thursday evening to commemorate the occasion with former chief ministers Siddaramaiah of Congress and H D Kumaraswamy of JDS set to participate among others.

"As I enter a new year of my life tomorrow, I am indebted to all the love and support that I have received from all of you at every stage of my life.

"Whatever I have achieved today is a result of the blessings and faith that the people of my state have showered and that is all I seek from all of you," Yediyurappa tweeted on Wednesday.

"And hence I humbly request everyone to not bring bouquets, flowers, shawls, sweets, turbans or any souvenirs tomorrow," the veteran BJP leader, instrumental in the party forming its first ever government in the south in 2008, said in another tweet.

A large scale felicitation function is being organised on Thursday to celebrate the occasion that is expected to be attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former chief minister S M Krishna besides Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy.

Union Ministers D V Sadananda Gowda, also a former chief minister, Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi are also likely to be in attendance.

BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) B L Santosh and state party chief Nalin Kumar Kateel are among those who will be among others gracing the event.

While Santosh will release a felicitation book, Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy will unveil a coffee table book and video.

The event is organised by "Yediyurappa Abhinandana Samiti" (Yediyurappa Felicitation Committee).

The event is also being seen in some quarters as an attempt by Yediyurappa and his loyalists to send a message to the party leadership that he was still "strong".

The BJP's current dispensation under Narendra Modi and Amit Shah has retired several senior party leaders who crossed the age of 75.

However, an exception was said to have been made in Yediyurappa's case after the BJP won 25 of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the Lok Sabha election under his leadership.

In the 2018 elections, he spearheaded the campaign of the BJP which emerged as the single largest party but fell short of the majority mark following which Congress and JDS came to power stitching a post-poll pact.

However, the coalition collapsed in July last year, paving the way for return of Yediyurappa as Chief Minister.

Amid speculations about his continuance as Chief Minister, considering his age, the Lingayat strong man in the recent past had expressed confidence of completing his full term and even leading the party in the next election, due in 2023.

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