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On D-Day, Yeddyurappa and Hegde slug it out

Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa today refused to quit and has said that he will complete his five-year term, even though lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report has indicted him in the illegal mining case in the state.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2011 12:58 IST
Karnataka chief minister,BS Yeddyurappa,karnataka lokayukta

Beleaguered Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, facing indictment in the illegal mining report by the lokayukta, on Wednesday asserted his government would complete its five-year term, and the question of his successor does not arise now.

"Central leadership has not asked me to step down. Only (HD) Deve Gowda, (HD) Kumaraswamy (JDS leaders) and Siddaramaiah (Congress leader) and you people (media) are asking," Yeddyurappa told reporters.

The chief minister said he is working for the development of the state "day and night", and had also been praised for fiscal management and then posed a question to the media: "Are you happy or not?".

He said he has not been summoned by BJP's central leadership but pointed out that as a national party, he "talks to them daily".

"Ours is not like Deve Gowda's party".

Asked if he would dissolve the assembly, the chief minister said, "After two years (when the term of the government ends).... We will go for elections (after two years).

Asked if it would be amenable to him if the central leadership asks him to name a successor, Yeddyurappa said: "So far that question does not arise at all. Don't presume things".

The chief minister said once the lokayukta submits the report, he would hold consultations with cabinet colleagues and legal experts and take appropriate action.

Yeddyurappa, who returned from the temple town of Tirupati, said he prayed for the welfare of the state.

Asked if he prayed for his "survival", he said he is "100% hopeful" that God will come to the help of those who work for the welfare of the people.

Ahead of submission of his report on illegal mining, Hegde on Wednesday said he does not believe the government would act on his findings.

"As I said yesterday, I don't believe the Government will take action," Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, told reporters.

"They (the State government) took the first (interim) report (submitted in December 2008) but did not take action".

Lokayuukta registrar Moosa Kunhi Nayar Moole is slated to hand over the report to chief secretary SV Ranganath later on Wednesday.

The report has pegged the loss to the state exchequer due to illegal mining between March 2009 and April 2010 at more than Rs 1,800 crore.

Hegde, a member of Lokpal bill drafting committee, declined to talk about contents of the report, which has indicted Yeddyurappa, four cabinet ministers, and former chief minister and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy, among others, and more than 500 officials, particularly in mineral-rich Bellary district.

Asked if he would also submit the report to the Supreme Court, Hegde said the apex Court had not sought it.

"If asked, I will have to give it, and I will give it. Otherwise, someone else may give it," he said.

Last week, Hegde had said the "Supreme Court is my only hope."

He said leakage of the report does not mean it has lost its "significance". It's just that somebody got it in advance.

"It's not (like) leak of question paper (in examination)."

Hegde said he has mentioned in the report about "possible threat" to lokayukta (five) officials who were involved in the inquiry.

"And I have not said that there is already a threat".

He said these lokayukta officials might have displeased a number of people (by probing into their illegal affairs) and there is a possibility that their future could be in jeopardy.

First Published: Jul 27, 2011 12:46 IST