'I will tour flood-hit areas'

Shobha Karandlaje delivers her first salvo

These are the questions ousted minister Shobha Karandlaje posed the BJP’s central leadership on Monday, after her resignation at their behest.

Addressing a press conference after submitting her resignation as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, she said nobody had given her any reason for being targeted so far. “I need answers to my questions”, she asserted.

Governor H R Bhardwaj accepted the resignation, which was forwarded by the CM, who is now holding Shobha’s portfolio.

With Shobha’s exit, two of the major demands of the rebel Reddy camp has been met by the CM. She was the lone woman minister in the Yeddyurappa cabinet.

Shobha Karandlaje said, as a committed worker, she would follow the party directive. She recalled BJP patriarch Atal Behari Vajpayee’s oft quoted words: “Na dainyam na palayanam (I shall neither fear nor escape).” “I will take it as a challenge”, she said.

She said she was happy to resign as her resignation would strengthen the party and stabilise the government. “I was a social worker before becoming a minister. I will continue to do social service. After two days, I will visit flood-hit areas and work for the suffering people,” she said.

Asked if she was targeted because she was a woman, she said she did not know. Through her 13-year-old political career, she had proved that even a woman from a humble background could rise in politics. More women should enter politics, she exhorted and listed out her achievements as RDPR minister for 17 months.

‘The pain will last for life’

“There seems to be no value for sacrifice, hard work, and sincerity”, was Yeddyurappa’s retort when he was confronted by reporters after submitting colleague Shobha Karandlaje’s resignation to Governor Bhardwaj. Asked why his detractors had targeted the RDPR minister, a visibly upset chief minister said, “Its difficult to understand ....Those who have put in hard work and are honest are being punished.” To a question, CM said, “It will pain me throughout my life.”

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