Stand off between Yeddyurappa and Reddy brothers continues


Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy, himself a mine owner in the ore rich Bellary district, took the lead holding parleys with like minded fellow miners since yesterday to mobilise support against the Rs 1,000 cess on each lorry load of iron ore, close aides of them said.

There are 92 licensed owners of mines in the district and about 40 of them have been carrying on mining activity.

Reddy and his brother Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy and their confidante Health Minister B Sreeramulu have been up in arms against Yeddyurappa for his certain decisions, including transfer of Gadag Deputy Commissioner Prasad for his "failure" to implement relief measures in flood-hit areas.

The Reddy brothers are also unhappy with the style of functioning by Yeddyurappa whom they accuse of interfering in the working of their departments, besides neglecting them in decision making on certain issues.

Despite their opposition to the cess on lorries, the government went ahead with the it to mop up resources for rehabilitation of people affected by the recent floods in northern districts of the state.
The aides said the Reddy brothers were trying to drum up support from Lorry owners association by asking them to suspend transportation of ore, protesting the cess.

The Reddys, who held a meeting with mines owners yesterday continued it today also. They have been sulking over the "sidelining" of some ministers loyal to them by Yeddyurappa.

Minister for Libraries Shivanagowda Naik, Minister for Sports Goolihatti Shekhar, Minister for Social Welfare D Sudhakara, facing charges of cheating a nationalised bank, were among those who have been complaining to the Reddys that they were being ignored.

This is not the first time that the Bellary triumvirate have revolted in the last 18 months after the BJP came to power in the state. They have held a meeting of legislators supporting them, questioning the style of functioning by Yeddyurappa and some other ministers, including Rural Development Minister Shobha Karalande, whom they alleged was interfering in administrative matters of other ministers.

A minister loyal to Reddy, speaking to PTI on condition of anonymity said "this time the situation is bit serious. But it will not pose any threat to the government".

Yeddyurappa has been consistently maintaining that there was no dissidence and minor differences between him and the Reddy brothers would be sorted out soon.

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