Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on Friday accorded sanction to prosecute Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over allegations of denotification of land acquired by the government, apart from other charges. The prosecution request was made by two advocates.
Mr. Yeddyurappa is the first Chief Minister of the State against whom a Governor has accorded sanction for prosecution.
Karnataka will thus join Tamil Nadu and Bihar, where two Chief Ministers were prosecuted after people obtained the permission of Governors M. Channa Reddy and A.R. Kidwai.
Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party told The Hindu: “There is no question of the Chief Minister quitting. We will take the battle against the Governor to the streets. An all-out effort was made to convince the Governor that there is no prima facie case and that several agencies are already investigating the matter and that prosecution is not warranted. Now that the Governor has announced his decision, we will fight it legally and politically.”
A brief communiqué from the Raj Bhavan said: “The petition given by two advocates of Bangalore Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj on December 28, requesting sanction of the Governor of Karnataka under Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for prosecuting the Chief Minister, Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa, in an appropriate Court of Law for various grave allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct, has been considered by the Governor and he has granted sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister by an order passed by him this [Friday] evening.”
There is no information on the Governor's stand on the request for sanction to prosecute Home Minister R. Ashok.
Earlier in the day, the Governor, in a letter to the Chief Minister, said the Cabinet resolution of January 19 was “unwarranted.” The resolution urged him not to grant permission for prosecuting the Chief Minister.
On Thursday, the Governor compared the resolution to the act of a thief admonishing the police.