The controversy in Karnataka over the Opposition’s demand for removal of the controversial Reddy brothers from the state Cabinet for their allegedly illegal mining activities took a new turn on Tuesday.
Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj stepped into the picture, publicly demanding that they be removed from the state government.
Bhardwaj was referring to the state’s Tourism and Infrastructure Development Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy.
“The issue is whether they can they can continue in office and still indulge in corruption. It is a big issue of integrity and probity of those in high office. I have addressed it to the chief minister,” Bhardwaj said.
The former law minister’s remarks triggered a war of words between the Congress and BJP and the governor’s meeting with President Pratibha Patil sparked speculation.
Bhardwaj declined to comment on what transpired at the meeting but said he would not shirk his responsibilities as a governor to check corruption.
He is to meet Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday.
A rattled BJP hit back, warning the governor not to cross his limits and described him as a “Congress agent”.
“If he is discontented with the post of governor, he should settle his dissatisfaction with the Congress party rather than work against our government there. We deeply condemn it if Raj Bhawan is being used for destabilising a popular government,” the BJP’s chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The Congress also slammed the BJP for commenting on the constitutional post of the governor. “If comments are made on constitutional authorities, where will democracy go? The malaise which started from the top in the BJP has spread to the ranks,” said party spokesperson Manish Tewari.
In Bangalore, the Opposition disrupted proceedings in the assembly for the second week in a row, with JD (S) and Congress MLAs demanding a CBI probe into the allegedly illegal mining activities.
With HTC, Bangalore