Shobha Karandlaje quits

Shobha Karandlaje quits

The resignation of the 44-year-old Karandlaje came within hours of Yeddyurappa dismissing as "speculation" that the rural development and panchayatiraj minister would be dropped as sought by dissidents led by Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy.

"It has not been decided who are the ministers to be dropped from the ministry. All these issues would be discussed at the core committee meeting," Yeddyurappa told reporters.The setting up of a core committee and a coordination committee was part of the compromise formula hammered out by BJP central leadership to please the dissidents to allow Yeddyurappa continue as chief minister.

Yeddyurappa has accepted the resignation and would be forwarding it to Governor H.R. Bharadwaj, an official spokesperson told IANS.

Karandlaje, who joined BJP after being in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is considered close to Yeddyurappa.Dissidents had accused her of behaving like a second chief minister because of her proximity to Yeddyurappa. She was also charged with interfering in the functioning of other ministries.

"Allegations and insinuations are not new to me," Karandlaje, who holds a masters in Social Work, had been maintaining in response to the dissidents' charge. "I have come up the hard way. Let these people prove that I have been interfering in their work," she had challenged.

On her relations with Yeddyurappa, she would assert he is like a "father figure", when questioned about her closeness to him.

Karandlaje was born near Puttur in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district.She was active in the BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Mahila Morcha (women's wing) and was also the general secretary of the state BJP unit.

Karandlaje is not married and devotes all her time to BJP. She was elected to the Vidhan Parishad (legislative council) in June 2004 for the first time.As she rose in the party ranks, controversies surrounded her, mainly around her closeness to Yeddyurappa.

Ignoring opposition within the party, Yeddyurappa picked her up to fight the May 2008 assembly elections from Yeswanthpur in Bangalore north.She beat her detractors and won the seat though a section of BJP workers did not canvass for her saying she was an "outsider" as she hailed from Dakshina Kannada.

Yeddyurappa rewarded her by giving rural development and panchayat raj ministry. He also made her in charge of the prestigious Mysore district, a popular tourist attraction, including the Jamboo Savari or procession of caparisoned elephants during Dussehra festival.In addition, she was given the task of briefing the media after cabinet meetings.

There have been murmurs ever since by a section of ministers, legislators and partymen about her style of functioning.When these got louder, she dropped out of the briefing job which was taken over low-profile, soft-spoken Home Minister V.S. Acharya.

She has frosty relations with Mysore district BJP leaders, many of whom boycotted this year's Dussehra festivities.

Karandlaje mainatained a low profile ever since the turmoil reached a high pitch in October last week.

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