Pressure on Yeddyurappa to resign
As the BJP leadership worked on strategies to deal with the situation, demands for removal of Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa also surfaced from within the party.
Karnataka lokayukta justice N Santosh Hegde, who has prepared a damning indictment of Yeddyurappa and others on the mining scam, has pinned his hopes on the Supreme Court for action on the report which he will present to the Government and not the governor.
BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar dashed off a letter to party president Nitin Gadkari and senior leader L K Advani demanding that Yeddyurappa be removed immediately since BJP's image throughout the country was getting tarnished by his continuance in office.
Hegde, who demits office on August 2, said his endeavour is to submit the report on Monday or Tuesday but indicated that there could be some delay.
"Government will not act on it (the report)", Hegde told PTI in an interview. "But my only hope is Supreme Court," he said.
Hegde said the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has taken his first report on illegal mining submitted in December 2008, and "relied upon it" and he expects it to do it this time as well.
Hegde, however, said it was not mandatory for the Government to accept his report, which has raised a political storm after the leaked document strongly indicted Yeddyurappa.
Sources in the lokayukta said the final report on the mining scam will not be submitted to Bhardwaj as it was the Government which referred the case to the former Supreme Court judge and not the governor.
Sources also said that given the uneasy relationship between Bhardwaj and Yeddyurappa, who have been often at loggerheads, Hegde does not want to land in a controversy by deviating from norms and face accusations of being biased.
But Lokayukta sources said the Governor can call for a copy of the report and make recommendations to the Government on what it needs to do in his advisory capacity.
The Governor said on Friday, "...And if as a competent authority (the Governor), if he (the Lokayukta) sends the report to me, then I will deal with it according to the Lokayukta Act (section 12 and 13)."
"I will give my serious thought to whatever he (Lokayukta) recommends and you will know my action the moment I get the report", Bhardwaj had said.
Lokayukta has indicted Yeddyurappa and four other ministers on illegal mining, which the anti-corruption watchdog says caused a loss of Rs 1,800 crore to the state exchequer in 14 months from March 2009.