Shobha Karandlaje on her way out of Ministry

Special Correspondent
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Her public criticism of government angers BJP

Fall from grace:Shobha Karandlaje
Fall from grace:Shobha Karandlaje

Attacking the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa head-on, the Bharatiya Janata Party is learnt to have decided to drop his close aide and Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje from the Ministry.

According to sources in the BJP, the decision, taken at a meeting of the party’s core committee held on Saturday, was on account of her embarrassing the government and the party by writing an open letter to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar highlighting the government’s failures in handling of rape cases and also publicly alleging that there was no safety for women in the Chief Minister’s home district.

Cabinet expansion

A party leader told presspersons on condition of anonymity after the meeting that Ms. Karandlaje may be dropped in three to four days time. “The government is set to take up the Ministerial expansion in about four days from now to fill up the two vacant berths. She is expected to be dropped by then so that it is possible to induct three persons into the Ministry,” he said.

Not invited

Mr. Shettar is already said to have communicated his displeasure to her over her public remarks. “You can go ahead with such public criticism against the government and the Chief Minister, but only after relinquishing the post of Minister,” he is learnt to have told her. The anger of the BJP leadership against Ms. Karandlaje was visible as it did not even invite her for the Saturday’s chintan baitak programme. She was the only Minister who did not get the invite for the meeting, sources said.

It is learnt that the party was waiting for a suitable reason to sack her from the Ministry as she is one of the key members of the camp of Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is threatening to topple the government. She had earlier embarrassed the party leadership by calling on Mr. Yeddyurappa in the media glare when he formally joined the KJP and quit the BJP.

Some of the controversial decisions that had been taken in a hurry by the Energy Department authorities in the last few days too had raised many an eyebrow in the BJP circles.

Interestingly, all the Ministers from Mr. Yeddyurappa’s camp stayed away from the chintan baitak.

Meanwhile, BJP State general secretary and MP Pralhad Joshi told presspersons in Bangalore that the party central leadership would take a decision on whether to appoint a new State president for the party soon.



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