Did BJP national president Nitin Gadkari virtually dictate the two letters that Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa wrote and released on Monday?
The first letter was addressed by the chief minister to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The second was to Mr Gadkari himself. In the letter addressed to the PM, Mr Yeddyurappa requested Dr Singh to look into the charges of telephone tapping, and suggested external affairs minister S.M. Krishna head the committee and Justice Santosh Hegde and H.D. Deve Gowda be members. “If the charges of telephone tapping are proved against me, I am ready to quit. I will retire from public life,” he announced.
In his letter to Mr Gadkari, he asked his party chief to constitute an internal committee to look into charges of nepotism, favouritism and illegal gratification. He suggested the committee be headed by long-time critic party national general secretary, Ananth Kumar and M. Venkaiah Naidu and Dharmendra Pradhan be committee members.
Sources close to the cm said the tactic was an attempt by Mr Yeddyurappa and Mr Gadkari to give Mr Kumar little time to “work against the Yeddyurappa government. He will have to concentrate on building the case.”
Mr Yeddyurappa’s return to the city on Monday morning instead of going to New Delhi was also at Mr Gadkari’s instance.
“Had he gone to New Delhi, he would face the wrath of party national leaders and a barrage from the media,” sources explained.
So, he flew back to the city and held deliberations with his confidantes before addressing the media.
In his opening remarks at a press conference, a supremely confident Mr Yeddyurappa assured the reporters that he would sit through the interaction and give replies to all the queries. However, he cut short his interaction when he was asked why he asked for an internal probe on the charges of illegal gratification when the court cases were pending.
He ducked the question and wound up the interaction abruptly.
Compared to his previous media interactions, the one on Monday was slightly different. Mr Yeddyurappa was very articulate during the media interaction. A confident chief minister explained in detail how he was lobbying for ban on export of iron ore and to make value additions. He got water resources minister, Basavaraj Bommai to add a few points that attacked JD(S) and Congress party.
Unlike many of the state leaders, Mr Yeddyurappa had a different take on the leakage. Refusing to speak on the entire issue, he said, “The sanctity of Lokayukta report will not be lost even if the report is leaked,” he said.
The chief minister also said that the government would certainly make serious efforts to implement the report after it was submitted. Asian Age