Terming speculations regarding his replacement ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls as "baseless" and "falsehood", Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said his government is stable and will continue to remain so and that he will work much harder for the state and the BJP.
This is the first reaction from the Chief Minister on the controversy, as he resumed his regular activities today, after recovering from COVID-19 infection. He had been under home isolation after testing positive on August 6.
There has been some buzz on and off within the state BJP in recent times, regarding some kind of an overhaul including at the top level, especially after the recent visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the State.
Adding to it, the Congress in a series of tweets for the last two days has been speculating about the possibility of the state having a third Chief Minister in this tenure with Mr Bommai being replaced, and has even called him a "puppet Chief Minister".
"It is amusing...this is not the first time the Congress is tweeting such a thing, they seem to have a feeling- there is instability in their mind which they want to spread among people across the state, but people won't believe them," Mr Bommai said.
"More than anything I'm 'Sthitaprajna' (man of steady wisdom), because I'm aware of the truth and there is no basis to such talk, as they are politically motivated," he said in response to a question on the Congress tweets speculating about change of chief minister.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, the Chief Minister said his decision and resolve had become firm from such talks and added that he is motivated to work more for the state and its people.
"In the coming days I will work two more hours a day and spend more time for the development of the state. I will also work towards strengthening the party and we will go to people on a large scale," he added.
Noting that there are two views on the tweets within the Congress itself, Mr Bommai said he is not going to give much importance to them and that his presence of mind is very clear.
"This is all falsehood, the truth is that there is a stable government and it will continue to be stable. I have resolved to work much harder," he added.
With speculations persisting on change of the chief minister, none less than the state BJP strongman B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday had said Mr Bommai will complete the term and no such discussions about a change had taken place in the party or between him and Amit Shah, when they met here last week. Also several senior Ministers and party leaders had come out in support of the Chief Minister.
Responding to a question that talks about replacement of the chief minister first came out from within the party, Mr Bommai said there is no need to give importance to it.
Former BJP MLA B Suresh Gowda's recent statement indicating at some changes and that the high command will take a call on replacing the chief minister and other matters in the interest of the party and to win the elections in future had added to the speculations.
Mr Bommai, who took over from Yediyurappa as Chief Minister, completed one year in office on July 28.
The '3 Chief Ministers' reference by the Congress, in its tweets, is with regard to the earlier BJP government between 2008-2013, which saw three Chief Ministers -- Mr Yediyurappa, D V Sadananada Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.
Regarding destruction caused by rains and floods in the state, Mr Bommai said reports of damage assessment are being gathered and in two to three days a memorandum will be sent to the Centre.
To a question over the controversy regarding the Idgah Maidan at Chamarajpet in Bengaluru, with some groups wanting to celebrate Ganeshotsav there, he said, "It has been decided that the property comes under Revenue Department, so it is under the government, so any programmes or events can be permitted as per the government's rules and procedures. We will decide as per law."
When told about local MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan's reported statement that he won't allow the Ganeshotsav there, the Chief Minister said, "let whoever say whatever they want, it is not important to me. Law is important to me."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)