Bengaluru: Speculations are rife about a leadership change in Karnataka, even as Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa denied it. The Karnataka Chief Minister, who visited Delhi last week, has invited party legislators for dinner on July 25 at a city hotel to mark the completion of two years of his government in office.Also Read - 'No Pressure From High Command', Says Yediyurappa After Stepping Down as Karnataka CM | Key Points

Yediyurappa completes two years of leadership in Karnataka on July 26 but no legislature party meeting has been called till now. Earlier there were reports that the BJP legislature party meeting will be convened on the day during which some clarity was expected regarding the speculations about the leadership change. Also Read - 'Expecting Suggestions From High Command by Evening', Karnataka CM Yediyurappa on Possible Exit | Key Points

His recent trip to Delhi had raised eyebrows of many when he held meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President J P Nadda. Yediyurappa had, however, rubbished talks in some quarters that he is on his way out, and asserted that the central leadership has asked him to continue in the post. Also Read - Karnataka: Who Will be The Next CM if BS Yediyurappa Quits? Check List of Probable Names Here

Meanwhile, a leaked audiotape of BJP leader Basavaraj Patil Yatnal on Monday fuelled more speculations of the 78-year-old leader’s exit as he was heard saying that the party will soon pick a new leader who is “honest, pro-Hindu, and capable of bringing the BJP back to power”.

What happens if Yediyurappa resigns?

Yediyurappa also met the heads of several mutts in Bengaluru, who warned of a political fallout for the BJP in Karnataka if Yediyurappa is dislodged as the Chief Minister.

“Yediyurappa only said that he is not in position to speak anything on the issue and will have to abide by the decision of the high command. He did not say anything else,” Balehosur mutt’s Dingaleshwar Swamy, who led the delegation of pontiffs, said.

The Karnataka CM met leaders of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, seen as the BJP’s big support base in the state, who said that any move to replace Yediyurappa will have “big consequences” for the BJP.

The community factor, with prominent Veerashaiva-Lingayat political leaders and seers from the community throwing their weight behind him, seems to have come to the fore.

Congress leaders Shamanur Shivashankarappa and M B Patil, as also Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, head of the Chitradurga based Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra Mutt, Sri Veera Someshwara Shivacharya Swami of Rambhapuri Peetha of Balehonnur and Srisaila Jagadguru Channa Siddharama Panditaradhya, have warned BJP of a backlash if Yediyurappa is replaced.