Karnataka rebel minister Renukacharya sacked

Last Updated 27 March 2013, 10:36 IST

Rebel Karnataka minister M.P. Renukacharya was sacked  Wednesday following his expulsion from the ruling BJP for six years on disciplinary grounds.

A Raj Bhavan communique said Governor H.R. Bhardwaj had accepted the recommendation of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to drop the excise minister.

Renukacharya was expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) late Tuesday.

The rebel lawmaker from Honnali assembly segment in Davangere district, about 310 km from here, Tuesday embarrassed the ruling party by accusing its former chief minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda of receiving money from him and being corrupt.

Though Renukacharya had threatened to quit the faction-ridden BJP to join the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) of former BJP's chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, ruling party's state unit president Pralhad Joshi expelled him from the primary membership after Gowda and Shettar sought swift action against him for indulging in loose talk and making false charges.

Renukacharya had told local news channels at Honnali that Gowda had taken a huge sum of money from him during the Udupi-Chickmagalur parliamentary by-election in March 2012, which the BJP forfeited to the Congress.

Gowda, who represented the Lok Sabha constituency, resigned after he became the ruling party's second chief minister in the state in August 2011 and got elected to the state legislative council last year.

The controversial member, however, did not quantify the amount of money he had given to Gowda but claimed that he had documentary evidence to prove the charge.

He also accused BJP's national general secretary Ananth Kumar, party's former state unit president K.S. Eshwarappa and Joshi of being equally corrupt.

As Yeddyurappa's die-hard loyalist, Renukacharya has been smarting over the weeks after the party denied tickets to his nominees in the March 7 local body elections in his assembly constituency where the BJP fared well.

Apprehending that he would not be given party ticket to contest in the ensuing state legislative assembly election May 5, Renukacharya said he would join Yeddyurappa by this weekend and fight against the BJP from his home constituency on KJP ticket.

Renukacharya also accused a prominent state RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) leader of minting money after the BJP came to power in Karnataka for the first time in May 2008.

Gowda, however, rubbished Renukacharya's claims and told reporters in Bangalore "everybody knows Renukacharya's character".
Gowda also recalled that he had ordered a probe into allegations that Renukacharya was involved in corruption in the excise ministry during his tenure as chief minister.
Gowda, however, resigned from the chief minister post in July 2012 following revolt by Yeddyurappa's loyalists and supporters.

(Published 27 March 2013, 10:36 IST)

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