More rebels reach Hyderabad

Political circus: Numbers swell in Reddys camp

The rebels have been moved by mining tycoons and Karnataka minister-brothers Gali Janardhana Reddy and Karunakara Reddy demanding a change in leadership of the Karnataka government.

This development follows the cracking of the whip by the BJP high command. The shift of base is said to be dictated by the need for longer stay which indicates that the Reddy brothers seem to have decided to dig in their heels and take on the high command. The rebels were first moved to Bellary and then to Hyderabad by special flight, said reports here.

Meanwhile, the AP government has begun to turn the screws on the Reddy brothers by serving notices on their Obalapuram Mining Company charging them with carrying out illegal mining and for violating the provisions of the lease agreement with the AP government for mining.

The Reddy brothers’ mining empire spreads across AP’s Anantapur district and Karnataka. Janardhana Reddy is one of the managing directors of Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC).

According to the notice, OMC is allegedly carrying out mining in more area than the allotted one. The forest department has asked the government to acquire the illegally mined and stored iron ore. Besides, the company is said to have eliminated the border between the two states by mining the area in violation of the lease agreement. Also it is said to have laid roads without the necessary permission of the Forest Department.

The District Forest Officer Kallol Biswas who went for an inspection on Friday after serving the notice was, however, allegedly set upon by some ‘goons’ who chased the official team for three kms, intimidating them and preventing them from doing their duty.

The action of the state government is being seen as part of the efforts of a section of the party to weaken the position of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, MP and son of YSR. The Reddy brothers were close to YSR and OMC was given a free hand in mining, according to Opposition here which led a campaign seeking cancellation of the lease given to OMC. Giving a helpful hand to the B S Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka might suit the anti-YSR group in the Congress party.

Options before Yeddyurappa

It has been sleepless nights for Chief Minister Yeddyurappa. With the Reddys’ camp strength swelling gradually, Yeddyurappa’s camp is turning jittery.

Balachandra Jarkiholi, a Reddy loyalist, openly claimed that the Reddy camp has the support of 67 MLAs and they are in favour of Speaker Jagadish Shettar occupying the CM’s gaddi.

Going by statistics, the BJP is enjoying the support of 122 MLAs, including five independents. If Jarkiholi is to be believed, the Yeddyurappa camp is left with only 55 MLAs. The CM needs the support of 113 MLAs to occupy the chair.

What are the options before Yeddyurappa now?

Resignation

Yeddyurappa may opt to resign paving the way for Shettar. Such a decision may put an end to his political career. The CM is in no mood to quit. All is well, he insists.
In case he has to prove that he still enjoys the support of MLAs, he may face the BJP legislators party meeting where secret ballot may take place.

Dissolve the Assembly

Yeddyurappa may choose to become a ‘suicide bomber.’ All that he has to do is convene a Cabinet meeting and take a decision to recommend to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly. If any party or the breakaway faction claims to form the government, it should have 113 MLAs to its side.

Seek JD(S) support

In the Assembly of 224 members, the JD(S) has 27 members. If Yeddyurappa approaches Deve Gowda for support, he may increase his strength to 77, still far away from the magic number 113. Meanwhile the JD(S) has been saying that the party will not support the BJP at any cost.

Seek Cong support

It is most unlikely. The Congress and the BJP have not formed government together in the country so far. On the other hand Opposition parties - Cong and JD(S) - cannot take the advantage of the situation as their joint strength would not meet the required numbers.

Hope against hope

Yeddyurappa may simply opt to pray the god and hope for the best. In fact, the CM is scheduled to visit Kukke Subramanya on Saturday, may be to seek divine intervention in his favour. If at all the party’s high command succeeds to convince the rebels then he has chances of remaining in the position.

Cong - JD(S) tie up?

The Congress is not in a position to form the government even if the JD(S) extends support. The combined strength would be 100. If at all, all six independents announce their support,  the strength would go up to only 106, seven short of the magic number 113. However, the Cong-JD(S) can form the government only if they manage to split the BJP with the help of those who are staunch followers of Yeddyurappa.

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