Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa Monday said it was his decision, which he took in consultation with the Bharatiya Janata Party`s central leaders, to appoint the Reddy brothers as ministers.
"It was my decision, after consultation with our central leaders," he said at a press meet here to mark completion of three years in office.
Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and his elder brother and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy are accused of large-scale illegal iron ore mining, both in Karnataka and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
The younger G. Somashekara is an assembly member from Bellary, the iron ore rich district bordering Andhra Pradesh and their political base.
B. Sriramulu, a close associate of the brothers, is the health minister.
Yeddyurappa backed senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj`s stand that she had no hand in making the Reddys ministers in the party`s first government in the state.
"Sushma Swaraji is our all India leader. What she has said is right. As chief minister, I took the decision in consultation with our party`s central leaders," Yeddyurappa said.
He did not name the central leaders whom he had consulted when he formed the ministry in May 2008.
Yedyurappa also ruled out dropping the Reddys from the ministry.
"Allegations against them have not been proved," he said.
Sushma Swaraj had created a flutter in her party when she was quoted in a New Delhi magazine as saying that she was opposed to three members from one family being made ministers.
She had said that senior party leaders Arun Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu were looking after Karnataka affairs when the party formed the ministry.
On his three years in office, Yeddyurappa said he had "overcome several problems and is confident of completing the remaining two years in office devoting time for all round development of the state".
Yeddyurappa enters the fourth year battling charges of corruption, illegal land deals, nepotism and being partisan to his Lingayats caste group.