BJP govt falls in Karnataka over 'rich' ministries

Updated on Nov 20, 2007 02:47 AM IST

The Governor sends a report to the President after CM BS Yeddyurappa resigns. BR Srikanth reports.

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Hindustan Times | ByB.R. Srikanth, Bangalore

The BJP’s first government in south India fell on its eighth day after Janata Dal (S) chief HD Deve Gowda decided he hadn't got a good enough deal on ministries.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa resigned on Monday. Raj Bhavan sources said Governor Rameshwar Thakur had sent a report on the situation to President Pratibha Patil and the Union home ministry.

Yeddyurappa acted after the JD(S) asked its MLAs to vote against the government during the floor test in the house. The partners fell out over the sharing of 2 cash-rich portfolios: housing and urban development, and mining. Deve Gowda wanted both ministries for his party, besides a “working agenda” for the government that listed a dozen ‘conditions’ on legal paper.

The BJP said no — and also refused to entertain Deve Gowda’s demand that former tourism minister B Sriramulu should be kept out of the ministry. It was Sriramulu’s complaint of an attempt to murder against then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy that had prompted Deve Gowda to call off his meeting with BJP counterpart Rajnath Singh on September 27.

Yeddyurappa announced his resignation midway through the trust motion he had moved himself, and rushed to meet the Governor.

“As soon as I came to know about the whip, I decided to meet the Governor. I am not the kind who pines for the chair... The demand by Janata Dal leaders for portfolios of housing and urban development and mining reminds me of what I learnt in my childhood. My parents taught me what is mine belongs to me, but here I am witnessing that they want what belongs to us. Why do they want these portfolios when it is our turn to hold them?” he told the assembly.

Outside Raj Bhavan, Yeddyurappa said he would launch a campaign against Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy for “shameless behaviour” during “political nautanki.” “They have ditched us to join hands with the Congress. I will go door to door and expose this betrayal, and teach them a lesson,” he said.

According to Dal sources, Gowda was willing to reconsider his decision on the whip and sent word to Sinha or other leaders to speak to him over the phone. As none of these leaders called him, Gowda left for Delhi in the evening.

Kumaraswamy said the alliance fell because BJP central leaders did not respond to “suggestions” by Deve Gowda. “The talks broke down on Sunday evening because Rajnath Singh did not reply to suggestions made by my father. Another reason is that Yeddyurappa has been repeatedly saying he will provide Gujarat-type government, which has caused a lot of doubt in our minds,” he added.

Kumaraswamy ducked questions on whether the Dal would join hands with the Congress next. “Anything is possible but I am not aware of it as that (fresh ties with Congress) is being dealt with by our central leaders (Deve Gowda),” he said.

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