More Reddy-made trouble for BSY

More Reddy-made trouble for BSY

The most recent spat between Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers, seemingly over the construction of houses for people affected by the flood in North Karnataka, is the stuff that political crises are made of.

Three months back, when the Reddy siblings rebelled against Yeddyurappa, the rallying point for the disgruntled legislators was Power Minister K S Eshwarppa. This time around, the Reddys of Bellary are not alone. In this endeavour, they are seeking the leadership of Assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar.

Clearly, the crisis that was averted then has deepened now. No less than a 24 MLAs, including at least ten ministers, have indirectly questioned the Chief Minister’s style of functioning. The representatives of the Bellary camp met Shettar, expressing their anger that they would not settle for anything less than a change in leadership.

The Shobha factor

Sources said those flexing their muscles against Yeddyurappa are upset with the chief minister’s “one-up-manship”. Add to this the Shobha Karandlaje factor which, according to the rebels, are dissatisfied — yet again — with the prominence given to her and her reported interference with work in other departments.

In the course of Tuesday, a series of meetings took place in the bunglows of some of the BJP leaders. Yeddyurappa’s meeting with 20 ministers took place between 8 and 11 am. The Bellary ministers — Karunakara Reddy, Janardhana Reddy and B Sreeramulu — were among eight Ministers who were conspicuous by their absence at the CM’s meeting.

Apparently, they were not invited for the discussions while BJP State president D V Sadananda Gowda attended the meeting. Interestingly, Transport Minister R Ashok, who was earlier seen to be in CM’s inner circle, walked into the meeting two hours behind schedule. Katta Subrahmanya Naidu is on a foreign tour.

The Reddy brothers, as declared earlier, declared they would go ahead with Wednesday’s inaugural programme for construction of houses in the flood-hit villages of Bellary.

The chief minister has not raised objection on their proposed programme, but he wanted the Reddys to channelise the funds donated by the mine owners for relief work through the government.

But Revenue Minister Karunakara Reddy has been arguing that there was no need for such an approach since it did not apply to corporates or other donors.
In the meeting, the CM expressed his displeasure over the developments.

He sought the support of all his colleagues to tackle the unprecedented situation. He also sent ministers Basavaraj Bommai and Aravind Limbavali as emissaries to the Reddy camp. Bommai and Limbavalli tried to prevail upon the Reddys, but without any avail. Before the CM could cajole or coax them any more, the tycoons flew back to Bellary. But before leaving they declared they will construct 50,000 houses at a total cost of Rs 500 crore in Bellary, Gadag, Raichur and Koppal.

Janardhana Reddy said that ‘Dashami muhurtha’ on Wednesday was auspicious for starting the new venture in Bellary. He also asserted that the house construction programme would be led by Karunkara Reddy. Asked why the CM was not being invited, he shot back: “Yeddyurappa is the CM for the entire State, whereas we are from north Karnataka and are more concerned about our people. We will be busy for the next one week with relief work. We have the strength to provide relief to those affected”.
To a question whether he was trying to run a parallel government, the minister quipped, “I am a minister in the Cabinet. How can I run a parallel government?”.

The Reddys also held meetings at Vikasa Soudha and at the residence of Sreeramulu. In addition to the eight ministers, the MLAs who identified with the Reddy camp on Tuesday were Nagendra, Nemiraja Nayak, Narasimha Nayak, B P Harish, Belur Goapalkrishna, M P Renukacharya, S K Bellubbi and Y Sampangi.

A minister loyal to the CM said: “Politics and business is a heady combination. There are too many minor and major differences between the camps. The crisis may not die down immediately”.

It is the meeting at Jagadeesh Shettar’s house which aroused more curiosity. Ministers Ashok, K S Eshwarappa, S Suresh Kumar, Asnotikar, Balachandra Jarkiholi, MLAs A Ramdas, C T Ravi and Renukacharya were among those who were seen conferring with Shettar.

The Speaker offered no comments though it is a known fact that he nurtures ambitions to become a part of the Cabinet which Yeddyurappa never conceded. He will host a dinner for select legislators on October 29. 

The CM, who camped in Mysore in the evening, held a meeting with some RSS leaders. Shettar is scheduled to meet some religious heads on Wednesday in Mysore and Tumkur, besides deliberating with some RSS leaders in Mysore.

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