Yeddy calls off `operation lotus` to focus on development

K`taka CM said that there was no need for `Operation Lotus` wherein Oppn MLAs were lured to BJP.

Updated: May 30, 2011, 18:52 PM IST

Bangalore: Under attack from Congress and
JDS besides battling threats of being ousted, Karnataka Chief
Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Monday said his government enjoyed
majority and there was no need for `Operation Lotus` under
which Opposition MLAs were lured to the BJP.

"Under no circumstances will I continue Operation Lotus.
The Government enjoys majority. There is no need for it,"
Yeddyurappa told a press conference organised to mark the
occasion of the first-ever BJP government in the south
completing three years in office.

Yeddyurappa, who has managed to survive challenges to his
leadership from within his own party as also threats from
Governor HR Bhardwaj, expressed optimism of a peaceful tenure
in the coming two years, and said he would focus on rural
development and welfare of rural masses.

"There is no scope for dissidence hereafter. They
(rebels) have learnt lessons," he said.

The Centre, in its advisory to Yeddyurappa after it
rejected Bhardwaj`s report recommending imposition of
President`s rule, had reportedly pointed out to defections
engineered by BJP by poaching MLAs from Congress and JDS and
directed that it be stopped.

BJP currently has a majority of 121 MLAs in the 224
member House, with Supreme Court setting aside the Speaker`s
order disqualifying 11 rebel BJP MLAs and five independents
and following the rebels returning to the party fold.

Yeddyurappa claimed that 5 independents continued to
support his ministry and they were in talks with him.

Yeddyurappa said in the next two years of his rule, he
would focus on "kalyana Karnataka" (a welfare Karnataka) by
giving thrust to rural development and welfare of rural
masses. He, however added that the campaign should not be seen
as BJP`s preparations for the 2013 Assembly elections, but
only to ensure all round development in rural areas.

Yeddyurappa said his government maintained law and order,
fostered communal harmony among all sections of the society
and accorded top priority to development in the sectors of
agriculture, health, education and irrigation.

Agriculture sector growth which was just 1.5 per cent
when BJP came to power has risen to six per cent, he claimed.

Slamming the Opposition, which has levelled allegations
of corruption and nepotism against him, he said if they had
not placed "hurdles`, the government would have achieved more.

"I hope at least now they will cooperate with the
government," the Chief Minister said.

The government has set a target of developing 15,000 km
of rural areas over the next two years, work on which will
commence in a fortnight, he said. "Significant changes are
taking places across the state. But there is a lot to
achieve", he said.

Yeddyurappa flayed Opposition parties for what he
described as "dictating" to the government, which he said is
not good for democracy.

Without naming JDS chief HD Deve Gowda, Yeddyurappa
alleged that he had troubled former Chief Ministers --
Ramakrishna Hegde, Veerendra Patil, SR Bommai, J H Patel and
SM Krishna and accused him of doing the same to him also.

Yeddyurappa claimed that he had checked illegal mining to
the extent of 90 per cent and only 10 per cent of the menace
was still prevalent which would also be eradicated.

He denied that Housing Minister V Somanna`s family
members were involved in illegal mining in Tumkur district.

Yeddyurappa also ruled out axing the Reddy brothers --
Janardhana and Karunakara -- as ministers and said he would
await the Supreme Court verdict on illegal mining.

The Chief Minister endorsed the statement made by BJP
leader Sushma Swaraj that she did not influence anyone in the
induction of Reddy brothers as "correct", saying he had
inducted them after consulting the party high command.

On cabinet expansion, he said, "I will do it when the
high command permits and after consultations".

Yeddyurappa said in the last three years, he had toured
every part of the state, travelling 2.60 lakh km and holding
1,750 public meetings.

PTI