Yeddyurappa says he won`t quit, Gadkari to decide
The Lokayukta report on illegal mining has indicted Yeddyurappa and four ministers.
Bangalore: Under fire for his alleged involvement in the mining scam, BS Yeddyurappa on Monday said he would continue to remain the Chief Minister of Karnataka for another two years. Addressing a press conference, Yeddyurappa however added that he would quit if proved guilty in the case.
At the press conference, the CM appeared to be in a defensive mood on the issue of allegations of illegal mining and wire tapping. Yeddyurappa slammed the opposition and said it wants to end the BJP’s first government in the South.
The CM has returned after holidaying in Mauritius at a time when the calls for his resignation have grown louder, in the light of the Lokayukta`s report on illegal mining which will be submitted on Wednesday.
However, Yeddyurappa said he would abide by "whatever decision"
is taken by Gadkari, who also spoke to the chief minister.
Gadkari said the chief minister has asked him to take a
final call on his fate in the wake of Lokayukta having
prepared a damning indictment of him.
Yeddyurappa slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for going public about the allegation that his phone was being tapped, saying he should have complained to his government and not the media.
While giving an assurance to act on the Lokayaukta report once it is out Yeddy added, “JD-S and Congress are creating trouble in the smooth running of the Karnataka government.” The CM in fact claimed that he is actually fitting illegal mining.
Yeddyurappa further said that he will ask the Prime Minister to dispatch a team to investigate all the allegations against him.
Last week, BJP`s first Chief Minister in south India, Yeddyurappa, had said that the Lokayukta report on his alleged involvement in illegal mining did not contain anything new and he was not stepping down.
Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, in his report, had pointed to an element of criminality on Chief Minister’s part in the multi-crore mining scam in the state. Following which the Chief Minister has been facing increasing pressure from within the party as well as from an upbeat Opposition.
The findings of the Lokayukta that the mining scam has
caused a loss of Rs 1,800 crore to the state exchequer for 14
months from March 2009 has set off a clamour for Yeddyurappa`s
resignation by opposition parties and from some within BJP.
The leaked Lokayukta report has also indicted four
ministers and several others, including former chief minister
Yesterday, BJP’s national vice president Shanta Kumar went public with his dissent. He said he had informed the party high command about the happenings in Karnataka when he was party in-charge for the state, but his complaints were not taken seriously.
In a hard-hitting comment, he also said that BJP was fast becoming a "party of sons, daughters and relatives".
"I knew everything what Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde has now said... I had informed high command about it, but no action was taken," Kumar said to a news agency.
Kumar reminded that at a recent meeting of BJP Chief Ministers, it was resolved that the party will oppose corruption. Developments in Karnataka -- where the BJP Chief Minister is facing allegations regarding corruption in the mining sector -- were tarnishing the party`s image, he added.
However, officially the BJP has been evading questions on Yeddyurappa`s fate, saying it will respond only after the Lokayukta report is made public.
Fomer Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has also raised the pitch seeking Yeddyurappa’s removal.
Yesterday, Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj said he would send a report to President Pratibha Patil once the Lokayukta`s report on mining scam, that has indicted Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, "comes on record".
On the other hand by indicating that he would take the Lokayukta report on
illegal mining to the people, Yeddyurappa said he would
address public rallies in 10 prominent districts in the first
phase next month, followed by 10 more districts.
He said he has also convened a meeting of Members of
Parliament of BJP, including Rajya Sabha members, from the
state, on July 31, ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
The chief minister said a meeting of the BJP legislature
party would be held on August 5 to discuss the latest
political developments and also the report to be submitted by
Lokayukta on the mining matters.