Special Correspondent

Government refuses voluntary retirement to Veerabhadraiah

Final decision on her candidature to be taken in Madhugiri on Sunday

JD(S) to highlight State Government’s maladministration in poll campaign

Bangalore: The State Government has refused to permit the voluntary retirement sought by M.V. Veerabhadraiah serving as Director in the Revenue Department and the action has been attributed by the Janata Dal (Secular) to “cheap” politics played by the Bharatiya Janata Party and in particular Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa.

The Janata Dal (Secular) had planned to field Mr. Veerabhadraiah as the party candidate for the byelections to the Madhugiri Legislative Assembly constituency since he had reportedly sought ticket for the same constituency during the last Assembly elections held in May. The party leadership had then preferred to give the ticket to D.C. Gowrishankar, son of the former Minister C. Chennigappa who was known for his proximity to the Deve Gowda family. However after the elections, Mr. Gowrishankar and Mr. Chennigappa crossed over to the BJP and Mr. Chennigappa is now the BJP candidate in the byelections from Madhugiri.

The former Prime Minister and president of the Janata Dal (Secular), H.D. Deve Gowda and the former Chief Minister and State unit President of the party H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday expressed their anger against the Chief Minister in no uncertain terms with the former stating: “Casteism has percolated to all levels of the administration. In all my five decades in politics I have never seen such casteism whether during the regimes of S. Nijalingappa, B.D. Jatti, Veerendra Patil, S.R. Bommai and J.H. Patel. It is only one particular caste which is favoured by this Government. People should revolt against this by defeating the BJP in byelections.”

Mr. Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy said with Mr Veerabhadraiah being denied voluntary retirement, the Janata Dal (Secular) was left with no choice but to field Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of Mr. Kumaraswamy. However, a final decision on her candidature would be taken at a party workers’ meeting to be held at Madhugiri on Sunday. “Let the party activists decide on the candidate. If they approve, the party will field Ms. Anitha. We are confident it will have an electrifying effect in the byelections.”

The Janata Dal (Secular) has also produced the applications filed by several officials who sought voluntary retirement and the speed with which their applications were cleared. They included that of the former Additional Director-General of Police Subash Bharani, who has been appointed by the incumbent government as the State’s Special Representative in New Delhi, the former Additional Commissioner of police, Bangalore, K.C. Ramamurthy, Chief Minister’s Secretary J.S. Virupakshaiah, who has been appointed Information Commissioner and M.S. Nagendra who was with the Bangalore Metro Rail.

Mr. Gowda said the maladministration of the State by the Chief Minister would be the highlight of party’s election campaign. A comparison will also be drawn to the administration by Mr. Kumaraswamy during his Chief Ministership.