The celebrations marking the second anniversary of the BJP run Karnataka government on July 26, 2021, saw the Chief Minister, B.S Yediyurappa announce his resignation. Considered to be the tallest BJP leader in the state, he became Chief Minister for the fourth time in 2019, after allegations of ‘horse trading’ & “resort politics” by the previous government under Congress’ Siddharamaiah.
Incidentally, Yediyurappa has never completed a full 5-year term in the C.M.’s chair. This time his resignation came after weeks of speculation, in the backdrop of his meeting with the Prime Minister on July 16, 2021, where he reportedly offered to resign due to ill health. In the absence of any reason from Yediyurappa during his address on Monday, these speculations took the form of social media posts.
Data from Crowd Tangle shows that the interaction with the keywords “Yediyurappa Resigns” was at its peak on July 26, 2021, with figures at 22,800. These interactions were with 28 posts, which were repostings of two original posts.
One of these posts claimed BSY while resigning said that ‘people have lost faith in the government’. The post also claims that ‘not all is well in BJP’s Karnataka’. However, this is not attributed to Yediyurappa but an interpretation of the events by the creator of the post.
The timestamps on the Facebook post indicates that it was shared first by a page named ‘Mahua Moitra Fans’. The majority of the reshared posts contain the stamp of the same page on the top right corner, pointing to its origin.
At the time of writing this article, this post had been shared 740 times on Facebook with 5,500 people reactions and 210 comments on the same page.
A translation of his speech in question from Kannada to English done by the news outlet Deccan Herald tells us that the Chief Minister’s words have been taken out of context in the claim mentioned above. It was reported that he said, “all I want to say to officials and Cabinet colleagues is, I don’t know why public faith in elected representatives and officials is declining.”
B.S Yediyurappa did not say “people have lost faith in the government”
Our analysis shows that the quote used in the said post is a misinterpretation of the minister’s speech. The post alleges that “not all is well in BJP’s Karnataka”- something that was never said by the CM.
The mainstream media highlighted how Yediyurappa was emotionally charged and broke down while delivering his address. They also reported how the CM reiterated that this was his decision and not one made under pressure.
News Outlets like Free Press Journal and Business Today reported him saying “I ask officers and MLAs that people have lost trust in all of us”. They added that he has “issued a word of caution to his colleagues and stated that the citizens have lost their faith in the state government” respectively.
Thus, it can be concluded that the post is misleading the reader into believing that the former Chief Minister hinted at differences within the BJP in Karnataka by adding their own opinion & context to a loose translation of his statement.