CM running ‘authoritarian’ govt: Karnataka minister in letter to Guv

In a strongly worded letter to Vala, Panchayat Raj minister K S Eshwarappa said that the chief minister had indiscriminately sanctioned funds to various MLAs and other persons in violation of rules.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa.(PTI)
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa.(PTI)
Updated on Apr 01, 2021 05:29 AM IST
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BySharan Poovanna, Bengaluru

Karnataka rural development and Panchayat Raj minister K S Eshwarappa wrote a letter to governor Vajubai Vala on Wednesday accusing chief minister BS Yediyurappa of interference by bypassing departmental rules and running an authoritarian government.

In a strongly worded letter to Vala, Eshwarappa said that the chief minister had indiscriminately sanctioned funds to various MLAs and other persons in violation of rules.

“I am in pain, to bring to your kind notice, some of the recent actions of our Respected Chief minister relating to my department, which amounts to direct interference in the affairs of ministers-in-charge of departments, in clear violation of Karnataka (Transaction of Business) rules, 1977 and also against the established practices and procedures relating to the affairs of the State administration,” Eshwarappa wrote.

He mentions three such orders --allocations of 65 crore, 774 crore and 460 crore (all three road works) --in which the chief minister’s office (CMO) had put pressure on the principal secretary to issue government orders bypassing the minister.

Eshwarappa said that he had stayed these orders “on the advice” of the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president [Nalin Kumar Kateel] and other senior leaders of the party.

The minister said that he had registered his objections with the chief minister and that it was to no avail and hence had brought it to the notice of the Governor “these serious lapses and authoritarian ways of running the administration” by the chief minister.

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“I have kept pending all three above mentioned sanctioned orders (of 774, 460 , 65 crores) which have been issued without taking (the) concerned minister into confidence and also issued directions to the principal secretary not to give effect to the allocations of (the) Finance Department,” Eshwarappa said.

Eshwarappa said that he has communicated these issues to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda, General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh and Karnataka incharge, Arun Singh as well.

The letter has also given the opposition more ammunition to attack the government.

“A senior BJP minister has made very serious accusations against CM Yediyurappa in a letter to the Governor. The CM must either immediately submit his resignation or must sack the minister if the accusations aren’t true. Karnataka’s BJP government has become a den of corruption,” DK Shivakumar, the state Congress president posted on Twitter.

Eshwarappa could not be reached for comment.

The developments come at a time when Yediyurappa already finds himself in a corner over the recent sexual harassment case involving Ramesh Jarkiholi, non-performance of his two-year-old government, cash crunch and growing calls for his removal among other problems.

The three bypolls on April 17 have presented the 78-year-old with an opportunity to silence growing dissent and consolidate his position for the remainder of the two years in power.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka HC vacated a stay on an order for quashing of an FIR against Yediyurappa who was accused of engineering defections that led to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S)-Congress coalition government in 2019.

Yediyurappa is alleged to have lured opposition legislators, in an exercise termed “Operation Kamala”, with the promise of giving them plum portfolios and other monetary rewards.

At least 17 legislators from the JD9S)- Congress coalition had defected and helped Yediyurappa to power after weeks and months of high drama in the southern state.

“Main case challenging the FIR is still with the High Court but he (Judge) has only vacated the stay now,” said one person aware of the developments, requesting not to be named.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022