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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Yeddyurappa raises white flag, meets governor

IANS  New Delhi, December 31, 2010
First Published: 13:16 IST(31/12/2010) | Last Updated: 13:55 IST(31/12/2010)

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa met Governor HR Bhardwaj in a bid to end the war of words between them on Friday, exactly a week after dropping plans to complain to President Pratibha Patil against him.

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"As promised I met the governor and I will meet him every fortnight. I have publicly committed to it," Yeddyurappa, who was upset with Bhardwaj over his frequent public criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party's first government in south India, told reporters.

"I had a free and frank discussion on all developmental issues. There is no need to attribute any particular motive to to the meeting," the chief minister, under attack for favouring his kin with prime land in and around Bangalore, said.

On Thursday, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who has been given "special responsibility" to help Yeddyurappa tide over his problems, had met Bhardwaj, apparently to soothe his ruffled feelings.

Bhardwaj had slammed Yeddyurappa for not providing a "true picture" of land allotment allegations against him and for not taking action against mining barons and ministers, the Reddy brothers, over their alleged illegal mining.

The governor had written two letters to Yeddyurappa on these issues and was unhappy that the chief minister had not promptly replied to them. The letter on action against Reddys was written in April.

Yeddyurappa responded after Bhardwaj told the media early this month that he was yet to get replies from the chief minister. But his replies did not satisfy Bhardwaj, who again told reporters that he was unhappy with the response and would write to Yeddyurappa again.

This prompted an angry outburst from Yeddyurappa, who had been avoiding strong words against Bhardwaj. "I will write to President Patil to find if she has permitted governor to function in this way," Yeddyurappa had threatened on Dec 23.

The next day, however, he said he would not write to the president but would meet Bhardwaj on  Dec 31. Yeddyurappa also announced that he would brief Bhardwaj every fortnight on important developments in the state and would direct senior officials to keep the governor informed of major issues.

Yeddyurappa described Friday's meeting as "just a courtesy call". He also invited Bhardwaj to address the joint sitting of the state legislature on Jan 6.

It is the constitutional duty of the governor to read out the speech prepared by the government listing its achievements and announcing what it intends in the year.

There was speculation that Bhardwaj might insist on changes in the speech in view of the growing divide between him and the government, particularly the chief minister.

He had told the media early this week: "Let it come. I will let you know my comments."

With Yeddyurappa keeping his promise to meet him and reiterating public commitment to do so every fortnight, the two might not allow the issue to turn into a constitutional row.

While Yeddyurappa has been mild in criticizing the governor for his repeated attack on the government, state BJP leaders have not been sparing Bhardwaj.

He is called a "Congress agent" by them because Bhardwaj is a long-time Congressman. He was central law minister prior to becoming Karnataka governor.

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