Shobha may follow in BSY's footsteps
Minister lashes out at Shettar government
Giving sufficient indications that she is all set to follow in the footsteps of her mentor B S Yeddyurappa, Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje finally crossed the political Rubicon when she openly assailed the government, picking holes in Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s governance.
Charging that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated in recent times, Karandlaje wondered why the government was still fighting shy of strengthening the existing law to punish rapists, though in the last two months, nearly 20 rape cases had been reported.
Karandlaje, who has been advocating stringent punishment, including castration for rapists, claimed that women’s safety had become an issue, and blamed the government for the deterioration of the law and order situation.
The Energy minister was only waiting for an opportune moment to raise the banner of revolt and the brutal Delhi rape provided her enough ammunition to attack the government.
According to political circles, while it is still not clear how many MLAs and ministers would follow Karandlaje and formally quit the BJP, the party in power, it is, however, reliably learnt that she has told her close confidants that she would wait no longer for others to take cue and quit the saffron party to join Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party.
It is learnt that Karandlaje has counselled her associates that with their leader left to fend for himself after floating the party, it would not be fair to cling on to power.
Once shorn of her saffron party affliation, she is expected to travel for a month to build the KJP across the State.
Meanwhile, with private agencies predicting good prospects for the KJP at the polls, it not only emboldened her to take the crucial call but also hasten it without any further dithering in the stifling situation she has found herself in since her mentor severed his ties with the BJP to float his own party.
As for her barbs against the government, Karandlaje said the government had failed to take preventive measures despite her missive.
Incidentally, her outburst comes a day after her open letter to Shettar advocating stringent laws against sex crimes, especially rape, and failing to elicit any reaction from both Shettar and Home Minister R Ashoka.
While Shettar specifically avoided reacting to her letter when reporters drew his attention to it, Ashoka responded by stating that he would choose not to comment on it, as the letter had not been addressed to him.
Stating that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated only in recent months, Karandlaje said she was not politicising the issue, but as a woman had only fulfilled her responsibility.
She demanded that the government table the amendment bill in the coming budget session; if not it should promulgate an ordinance in this regard, as the Karnataka State Women’s Commission was nothing but a toothless body, she said.