Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi on Saturday said the BJP's top leadership has not spoken to him about the exit of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa or him taking over as the successor. "It is only the media which is discussing the matter," Mr Joshi commented while dismissing the speculation.
With BS Yediyurappa announcing he would abide by the instruction of the party's top leadership, Pralhad Joshi said he had no clue if the central leadership has asked him to resign. "No one has spoken to me about it (succeeding Mr Yediyurappa). It 's only the media, which is discussing it. As no one has spoken to me, there is no need to react to it," Mr Joshi told reporters.
This week, Mr Yediyurappa dropped a strong hint that his exit as the Chief Minister was on the cards, and speculation is rife that Mr Joshi is likely to take over.
Asked "what if he is made the Chief Minister", the Union Minister quipped: "I never answer hypothetical questions with 'ifs' and 'buts'.. I don't want to answer such questions."
To another question, Mr Joshi said he won't react because he was not aware if the Chief Minister had been asked to resign.
He emphasised that the ''supreme leaders'' Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, apart from the BJP leadership, led by party president JP Nadda will decide.
"There is no high command in the BJP but national leadership. We got different leaderships from time to time. There was Rajnath Singh, after which Nitin Gadkari came, who was succeeded by Amit Shah and now JP Nadda is there. In the present situation, we have supreme leaders in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. They will decide," Mr Joshi said.
He declined to comment on seers of the dominant Lingayat community warning the BJP that it would be ruined if Lingayat strongman Mr Yediyurappa is removed from the post.
Mr Joshi, 58, has been Dharwad MP since 2004. He had also served as the BJP's state unit president from July 2012 to January 2016.