Accusing Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar — who is set to present the State Budget — of mismanaging the State finances, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday demanded a White Paper on the State’s finances before the commencement of the budget session.

Addressing presspersons after formally including some of the Bharatiya Janata Pafrty rebels, including Shobha Karandlaje and C. M. Udasi, who recently quit their Assembly seats, into the KJP, Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “People are eager to know about the State’s financial condition ahead of the budget session”.

Alleging that the annual spending of the funds earmarked for various prominent development schemes, including the implementation of Nanjundappa Committee for removing regional imbalances, had not crossed 40 per cent, he demanded that the White Paper also have details on the status of all these schemes.

When asked how many more MLAs from the BJP would join the KJP, Mr. Yeddyurappa refused to indicate a specific number and only remarked: “I have not brought pressure on any BJP MLA to quit. I will welcome them if they voluntarily quit their Assembly seats and join the KJP to put the State on a fast pace of development”.

“We are not trying to topple the government or prevent Mr. Shettar from presenting the State Bdget. We are only trying to strengthen the KJP by including those who believe in our ideology in the party fold. It is left to the BJP to save its government,” he remarked.

‘Speaker should camp in Bangalore’

Continuing the attack on Speaker K.G. Bopaiah for allegedly delaying the acceptance of resignations by the BJP rebel MLAs, Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “At least from now onwards, the Speaker should behave in a manner befitting the dignity of his post. He should make himself available in Bangalore at least now as the Assembly session is set to begin from Monday.”

He said the KJP’s strength had increased with the inclusion of these former MLAs. He will soon form an election committee to prepare the first list of candidates for the Assembly elections.

Mr. Yeddyurappa alleged that there was a conspiracy by vested interests behind the episode of KJP former founder-president Padmanabha Prasanna rebelling against the party. But he refused to name them.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Karandlaje said there was a dire need for a regional party like the KJP if Karnataka’s voice had to be heard by the Union government.

Two former IAS officers Baburao Mudbi and S.L. Gangadharappa joined the KJP on Thursday.

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