Both dissent and damage control take to air

Frequent fliers

 They now prefer only chartered flights and that too not by helicopter. Why not, if somebody is willing to airlift them free of cost?

The so-called netas, meaning elected representatives, are seen hopping from one city to another soon after the constitutional crisis began in the State on October 5. The most travelled ones are the BJP rebels, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, Minister Janardhana Reddy and of course, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

The chief minister, from the day he landed in a political mess, is on the move. Chartered flights are at his disposal to carry him wherever he wants. On October 7 morning, he was in a Kerala temple offering special pooja. He went via Mangalore to reach Kerala. On October 8 he was in Mysore to inaugurate Dasara festivities. From Mysore, he went to the resort where the BJP MLAs are camping.

Is he using the tax payers’ money to hire aircraft even to visit a temple? The chief minister’s office has an odd reply to offer. According to an officer in the CMO, being the chief minister, whatever he does is for the good of the State and hence, there is nothing private about his visits!

On the night of October 4, the BJP rebels including minister Renukacharya travelled from Bangalore to Chennai via Hosur by road. From Chennai, some rebels moved to Kochi and from there to Mumbai, one MLA visited Shiradi but finally they all converged in a resort in Goa, within hours after leaving Chennai.

Appeasement of the rebels while in Chennai was first left to Minister B Sriramulu. He flew to Chennai and left within hours. When he failed to accomplish the mission, his mentor minister Janardhana Reddy went to Chennai by a special flight. He held talks with the rebels for less than an hour and returned to Bangalore to meet Yeddyurappa. Even ministers R Ashoka and Basvaraj Bommai and G M Siddeshwar, MP, flew to Chennai to talk to the rebels.

Once the rebels camped in Goa, the flight yatra of Reddy and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, whose only aim at this point is to topple the Yeddyurappa government, began. JD(S) MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, on Saturday, was seen bundling the rebels into a chartered flight in Goa. N Cheluvarayaswamy, JD(S) MP, took BJP rebel MLA Shankarlingegowda to Goa from Mysore by a helicopter. On October 6, the Congress party’s 60-plus MLAs left Bangalore for Pune by a special flight. They will be returning to Bangalore on Sunday evening.  Who is footing the travel bills of the elected representatives? One gets no reply. Even if one gets a reply, it may not be the truth. The Bellary Reddys own helicopters and they have booked a chartered plane too. Congress’ Anil Lad, a Rajya Sabha member and mining lord, also owns helicopters.

Sources said that the Bellary mining lords are divided in their loyalty in this hour of constitutional crisis. While the Reddys are trying their best, for their own good, to make the BJP government survive, the other mining lords of Bellary who are against the Reddys are busy offering the services of their aircraft to anti-BJP camps. The hire charges for a helicopter range from Rs one lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh per hour and for Rs two to three lakhs for 10 to 12 seater jet per hour, it is said.

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