New Delhi/Bangalore: Under pressure over the Lokayukta report on illegal mining in Karnataka, the defiant state Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa finally relented and resigned on Thursday.
In press statement released from his office, the Karnataka CM confirmed that he will put in his papers on July 31.
Confirming his ouster, Yeddyurappa said, “I have decided to tender my resignation as the Chief Minister of Karnataka as per the party’s directions.
He further said, “I have toiled hard for 40 years to build the party from scratch.”
“I will continue to work for the development of the party in the state in future also.”
According to reports, Yeddyurappa sent his resignation to BJP president Nitin Gadkari after he met the party high-command late last night.
He is believed to have told Gadkari that his future in the southern state must be protected.
The development came as a shock as the Karnataka CM seemed defiant earlier in the day. The beleaguered Yeddyurappa said that he is ready to step down only if his close associate Sadanand Gowda is chosen to succeed him.
As per reports, the announcement from Yeddyurappa came hours after the BJP’s central leadership asked him to step down with immediate effect in light of his indictment in the illegal mining report submitted by state’s Lokayukta N Santosh Hedge on Wednesday.
Yeddyurappa made his intentions clear after holding a meeting of his close confidantes at his residence to discuss the next course of action.
As per reports, eight ministers, two MPs and several BJP legislators had gathered at the Race Course residence of Yeddyurappa, who returned to Bangalore this morning after parleys with the BJP leadership in New Delhi which went on till 2 am.
It should be noted that Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde had indicted Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa for his role in the state’s illegal mining business and alleged that he received kickbacks for favouring mining barons.
“The illegal mining business has caused a loss of Rs 16,085 crores to the state’s exchequer between 2006 and 2010,” Hegde had said addressing a press conference after submitting a huge 25,228-page long explosive report on illegal mining before the chief secretary SV Ranganath.
“Worst offences have been recorded in Karnataka’s Bellary district. Illegal mining business runs unabated in Tumkur, Chitradurga and other districts,” he said.
In damning evidence against the Chief Minister, Justice Hegde had claimed that Yeddyurappa and his family have been beneficiaries of the largesse of mining companies. “A mining company named the South West Mining Company, owned by Jindals, donated Rs 10 crore to a trust owned by Chief Minister's family members. The company also purchased one acre of land for Rs 20 crore from the trust far above the guidance value. This makes for an offence under Prevention of Corruption Act,” the Lokayukta said.
"This has led to the incontrovertible conclusion on my part that these payments were made for reasons other than genuine", Hegde had asserted.
The report further alleges that an educational trust run by the Chief Minister's family allegedly received large sums of money in donations from mining companies.
First Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011, 17:42