Still seeking governor’s recall, Yeddyurappa quotes him to pat self


Bangalore : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Monday relied on Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s Republic Day speech for some self-praise, though still seeking his recall for allegedly calling him a “thief”.

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Apparently upset over the stinging attack on him by Congress leaders at a rally here Sunday, Yeddyurappa issued a statement Monday rebutting corruption and land scandal charges against him.

After listing his government’s “achievements”, the chief minister referred to Bhardwaj’s Republic Day speech and said: “His Excellency the Governor has praised my government.”

Bhardwaj has been unsparing in his criticism of the first Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka and has sanctioned Yeddyurappa’s prosecution over corruption and land scandal charges.

In his speech on Jan 26, Bhardwaj had said he was “happy over the functioning of the state police who had maintained peace though the year; pleased over the efforts to improve power availability and glad over proposal to organize a World Agri Investors meet with focus on organic farming”.

Yeddyurappa attacked Congress leaders for “carrying on a campaign of baseless allegations against me after becoming despondent over series of electoral defeats”.

The Congress rally called “Throw out BJP, Save Karnataka” was addressed by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, union Labour minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge and state party leaders. All of them had ridiculed Yeddyurappa over favouritism in land allotment and corruption in his government.

Krishna was particularly sarcastic saying “the entire focus of this government is on ‘denotification of lands’. Merely chanting the name of (Hindu god) Ram will not bring resources to the state”.

Yeddyurappa is accused of favouring his kin with prime land in and around Bangalore and ‘denotifying’ large tracts of land to benefit people who invested money in his sons’ business ventures.

Five complaints have been filed against Yeddyurappa in a Bangalore court by two advocates after Bhardwaj gave them sanction to launch criminal proceedings against the chief minister.

Rejecting the Congress demand for his resignation, Yeddyurappa said in his statement that “people of the state, the party members in the state and central party leadership are fully behind me”.

He said the Congress was levelling baseless charges against him fearing being wiped out in the state because of the good work of the BJP government headed by him.

Earlier Monday, Yeddyurappa told reporters in Mysore, about 140 kms away, that he would soon write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against Bhardwaj’s ‘ulta chor kotwal ko daante’ (it is like a thief reprimanding the police) remark.

Yeddyurappa and his party have been demanding Bhardwaj’s recall for his alleged bias against the BJP government; for sanctioning Yeddyurappa’s prosecution and for the ‘ulta chor…’ remark.

Bhardwaj had made the remark following Yeddyurappa’s letter and the state cabinet resolution urging him not to sanction the chief minister’s prosecution.