More trouble for CM Yediyurappa as cabinet minister accuses him of being authoritarian
KS Eshwarappa, a cabinet minister in the Karnataka government on Wednesday accused chief minister BS Yediyurappa of interference by bypassing departmental rules and running an authoritarian administration among other charges.
In a strongly worded letter to Karnataka Governor Vajubai Vala on Wednesday, Eshwarappa said that the chief minister had indiscriminately sanctioned funds to various MLAs and other people in violation of rules.
“I want 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, who is the minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj said in his letter.
The developments add to Yediyurappa’s troubles, since the CM has recently found himself resolving one crisis after another since he took office in July 2019.
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 in-charge, Arun Singh as well.
Eshwarappa and Yediyurappa both are from the Shivamogga district and have shared a volatile relationship in the past.
Eshwarappa said that work in his department worth crores were sanctioned bypassing the minister in charge.
He said that he had registered his objections with the chief minister and that it had led nowhere 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.
Yediyurappa may have had better days since he faced a double-whammy on Wednesday; one from the High Court which vacated a stay that allowed a probe into a defection drama and the other in which a cabinet minister accused the 78-year-old of bypassing ministers and running an authoritarian administration.
The Karnataka High Court vacated a stay on an order for quashing of an FIR against Yediyurappa who has been 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 called “Operation Kamala”, promising them plum portfolios and other monetary rewards. At least 17 legislators from the coalition had defected and helped Yediyurappa to power after weeks and months of drama in the southern state.
Recently, the Karnataka CM has been at the receiving end of dissent from within his own party and is also the target of opposition attacks.
The developments come at a time when Yediyurappa already finds himself in a corner over the recent sex-scandal involving Ramesh Jarkiholi, non-performance of his two-year-old government, cash crunch and growing calls for his removal among other problems. His second son, BY Vijayendra, is also accused of running a parallel administration and the chief minister is allegedly favouring a few ministers and legislators loyal to him, antagonising core-party MLAs and others.
The three bypolls on April 17 in Karnataka had 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. Yediyurappa has also taken it upon himself to bring the BJP back to power in 2023 on its own steam.