As the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party continue to squabble over the Reddy brothers and their mining activities, Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj pursued his mission here by meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday. He reportedly discussed the goings-on in the BJP-ruled State.
Removal of the Reddy brothers — Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy and Tourism Minister G. Janardhan Reddy — from the State Cabinet and ordering a comprehensive probe by the Centre through one of its agencies, read the CBI, to go into the mining activities were among the subjects discussed, it is learnt.
The Governor seems to have suggested that although the issue mainly came under the purview of the State Government, the Centre too had a very important role in bringing out the truth.
He was of the view that the Centre had a duty to act in the matter by regulating mining activity so that a situation like the one that had been created in Karnataka did not recur. If need be, the Centre could take the views of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde submitting his resignation and then withdrawing it and the appointment of a new Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court in place of Justice P.D. Dinakaran were the other subjects that came up at the meeting, it is learnt.
Congress spokesperson Abishek Singhvi dubbed the BJP's rule in Karnataka “goondaraj” and demanded action against the Reddy brothers without naming them.
“What we are seeing in Karnataka is goondaraj... What will you expect when you make Dracula the head of the blood bank,” he told journalists here on Wednesday.
In Karnataka “there is no governance but only loot. The protectors have become predators,” he alleged.
On the BJP's attack on Mr. Bhardwaj for his allegations pertaining to illegal mining in the State, Mr. Singhvi said it was a case of “trying to shoot the messenger and ignore the message”. The Governor was fully entitled to talk to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Chief Minister on such issues.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yeddyurappa, accompanied by some of his Cabinet colleagues, will be shortly calling on the Prime Minister in New Delhi to lodge a complaint against the Governor for targeting the BJP Government in Karnataka.
This decision was taken at a meeting of senior State BJP leaders in Bangalore on Wednesday. The BJP's central leaders are expected to be part of the delegation. Mr. Yeddyurappa is scheduled to leave for New Delhi on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the day-and-night dharna by the Opposition Congress and the Janata Dal (S) members, who are demanding a CBI probe into illegal mining activities, continued for the third consecutive day in both Houses of the State legislature on Wednesday, forcing the presiding officers to adjourn proceedings for the day.
With the Opposition as well as the Government sticking to their stands, there was no transaction of any business. While Mr. Yeddyurappa has firmly ruled out any CBI probe, the Opposition has threatened to continue the dharna its demand is met.
Keywords: Reddy brothers