Amid reports that he pitched for BJP national general secretary CT Ravi as the "next" chief minister of Karnataka, former state minister and senior party leader KS Eshwarappa on Tuesday denied making any statement to that effect.
The senior BJP leader, who announced his decision to step away from electoral politics earlier, said CT Ravi is a "good leader" but a decision on the CM face is outside his domain.
He added that he doesn't have the authority to decide the party's chief ministerial candidate.
"CT Ravi is a good leader. He is doing very good work in Chikkamagaluru. I did not say anything about him being the next chief minister. I have no authority to make such a statement," Eshwarappa told ANI over the phone on Tuesday.
However, he said that being a prominent leader from the Vokkaliga community, CT Ravi has all the qualities to become the future chief minister of the state.
According to reports, addressing party workers at a meeting in Nidughatta near Chikkamagaluru, Eshwapappa said he hoped CT Ravi would be elected MLA by a huge margin and become the chief minister.
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His alleged remark came a day after CT Ravi, himself, expressed his wish to become the chief minister.
Earlier, on Monday, Eshwarappa said the BJP does not want a single vote from the Muslim community in Shivamogga in the upcoming Karnataka elections.
Addressing a Veerashaiva-Lingayat meeting in Shivamogga, Eshwarappa said, "We do not want even a single Muslim vote here. Nationalist Muslims will, however, vote for the BJP."
The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held in a single phase on May 10, with the counting of votes scheduled on May 13.
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