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Yedyurappa gets down to work as Karnataka CM, Congress steps up protest

Yeddyurappa also effected the transfers of senior officials in the administration and police. 

india Updated: May 18, 2018 00:09 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka state Governor Vajubhai Vala, right, administers oath to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader B. S. Yeddyurappa, left, as Chief Minister of the state in Bangalore, India, Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP)

Within hours of being sworn in as Karnataka chief minister on Thursday, Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa announced a slew of decisions and ordered bureaucratic transfers, which the opposition called a “blatant power grab.”

Yeddyurappa told journalists that he had asked the chief secretary to look into the waiver of farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh per person, which he had promised during the election campaign that he would do within 24 hours of being sworn in. “The chief secretary said she would study the matter and give me a report in the next day or two. So, in about two or three days I will take the decision,” Yeddyurappa said.

The chief minister did not stop there. Through the course of the day, Yeddyurappa also effected the transfers of senior officials in the administration and police.

M Lakshminarayana was notified as the new additional chief secretary to the CM, replacing LK Atheeq. Similarly, there was an overhaul of the intelligence wing of the police.

Amar Kumar Pandey was named the additional director general of police, intelligence, and Sandeep Patil was named deputy inspector general of police, intelligence.

Two other officers were posted as deputy commissioners of police in the city. K Annamalai, Chikkamgaluru SP, was transferred to Ramanagara district. The Eagleton Golf Resort, where 78 MLAs supporting the Congress are staying, is located in the district. A new advocate general, Prabhuling K Navadgi, was also appointed for the state.

The Congress also alleged that the police cover provided outside the resort had been withdrawn. Addressing reporters at the entrance to the resort, former energy minister DK Shivakumar said this showed that the BJP was attempting to grab power.

“They could not even wait for Supreme Court’s hearing (on Friday) before effecting so many bureaucratic changes. This tells you what the BJP is trying to do,” he said, adding “They have even withdrawn police cover outside the resort. But that’s all right, we don’t need any protection.”

Constitutional expert Sudhir Krishnaswamy, said ordinarily as soon as a CM is sworn in, he may exercise full executive power. But as the Supreme Court has said that no other minister may take the oath of office “this implies that it is a caretaker government,” he said.

According to Krishnaswamy, a caretaker government should first establish its majority before it announces a farm loan waiver and appoints or transfers officials.

First Published: May 17, 2018 23:04 IST