Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Monday ruled out resigning over the mining issue, but said he would abide by the directions of the Bharatiya Janata Party's central leadership.
“I am anxiously awaiting the report of the Lokayukta as much as you are. Let us see its contents and thereafter action will be taken within the framework of the law,” he told journalists here.
Incidentally, it is the Yeddyurappa government that extended the investigation by the Lokayukta into mining-related activities after the first report was presented to it.
The Lokayukta is expected to submit the report on Wednesday.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who appeared unfazed by the developments of the past week, said he would not only resign as head of the government but also quit politics if the charge of phone tapping levelled against him was proved. “This is a serious charge and the government will extend all support for an inquiry.”
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister had sought the appointment of a committee comprising the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, Union Minister S.M. Krishna and Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, into the complaint of phone tapping.
“It is a serious matter. Media reports have given a slant to the whole matter suggesting that the Lokayukta's telephone was tapped by government sources. The State government has at no point permitted such tapping and I am personally pained that the government is being unfairly blamed in the matter,” he said.
The Chief Minister has also written a letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari, requesting him to appoint a high-level committee of three members —M. Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar and Dharmendra Pradhan (BJP general secretary in-charge of Karnataka) — to go into the whole gamut of iron ore mining in the State, including the steps taken by the government to prevent illegal mining, the specific charge that an educational trust run by the Chief Minister's family has received donations from mining firms, and the sale of a piece of land belonging to his children to a mining firm.
“These charges have been repeatedly raised in the media and by the Opposition parties. Let the in-house committee submit its findings in about two months,” Mr. Yeddyurappa said.