'KJP has no plans to dislodge Shettar Govt'

 A day after the Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah did the “vanishing” act, Shobha Karandlaje, Energy Minister and close-confidante of KJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, said on Thursday that the KJP had no intention to destabilise the Jagadish Shettar government by making 13 MLAs resign.

Shobha was among 13 BJP MLAs who wanted to resign from the Assembly membership on Wednesday. But, their plan was foiled due to the non-availability of the Speaker.
For the first time, Karandlaje spoke openly against the BJP and its leaders during a chat with Deccan Herald. Excerpts from the conversation:

Q: The KJP has no numbers to topple the Shettar government. Still, why efforts are being made in this regard?

We are aware that 13 MLAs cannot bring down the government. If MLAs resign, the effective strength of the Assembly will come down and, the government still continues to have majority in the House. The MLAs want to resign so that they can join the KJP and strengthen the party ahead of the elections.

The KJP will be blamed for trying to destabilise government ahead of  the budget.
Nobody will blame us. The entire effort was aimed at highlighting the lapses of the government. We want the government to go, as it is no longer working for the people’s welfare.

The Governor has refused to intervene on the issue of Speaker’s ‘disappearance.’ What will the KJP do now?
We will discuss the matter and decide appropriately.

Had you taken prior appointment with the Speaker to submit resignation letter?
I had spoken to the Speaker a day in advance and informed him about my resignation. He told me that the Assembly Secretary will not be available as he was away on a foreign tour. But, the Speaker did not say that even he would not be available.

Many ministers loyal to Yeddyurappa have not extended their support to the KJP.
I do not know about other ministers and their plans. Moreover, Yeddyurappa does not need ministers to win elections. All he needs is strong candidates who can organise the party and ensure the part’s victory.  

You have been saying that a conspiracy was hatched against Yeddyurappa. Who were involved in it?

Many, including H N Ananth Kumar, conspired against Yeddyurappa. People in the BJP became greedy and, to occupy the chief minister’s chair, they wanted to oust Yeddyurappa. This is the reason why some leaders insisted that the BJP Legislature Party should choose Yeddyurappa’s successor only through election.

D V Sada­nanda Gowda was thus elected the leader. When Ananth Kumar realised that many in the party did not want him to be the chief minister, he insisted that there should be an election. Ananth Kumar has the ‘intelligence’ not to get exposed in any conspiracy. But, Yeddyurappa is highly articulate, short tempered and talks straight.
But BSY supporters did not allow even the elected leader Sadananda Gowda to remain in power.

Gowda fell short of our expectations. When there were provisions to book cases against four former chief ministers in mining controversies, he recommended inquiry only against Yeddyurappa.  

Then why did you encourage Shettar to become CM?
There were allegations against Yeddyurappa that he did not allow a Lingayat from North Karnataka to hold the coveted post.

To avoid it, we made Shettar the chief minister. But, he ill-treated MLAs supporting Yeddyurappa.

You grew up with RSS and later joined the BJP. How do you feel as an ex-BJP leader?
I am not feeling sad. The day A B Vajpayee was bedridden, the BJP too met the same fate. I continued because Yeddyurappa was with the BJP.

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