The powerful Reddy brothers – Revenue Minister G. Karunakara and Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Thursday agreed to abide by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) leadership’s decision to remove B.S. Yeddyurappa as Karnataka chief minister.
“We, including the Reddy brothers, abide by the decision of the party high command for change of leadership in the state. We have conveyed our decision to the state unit president K.S. Eshwarappa,” Health Minister B. Sriramulu told reporters here.
The party’s parliamentary board, which met in New Delhi earlier in the day, directed Yeddyurappa to resign in the wake of his indictment by the state Lokayukta (ombudsman) in the multi-crore mining scam.
Asked if Yeddyurappa would follow the party leadership’s, Sriramulu said, “No one is above the high command.”
The Reddy brothers and Sriramulu, who hail from the rich mining region of Bellary in north Karnataka, about 300 km from here, are among those against whom ombudsman N. Santosh Hegde has recommended prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for alleged criminal involvement in the mining scam.
“I will not comment on the Lokayukta probe report as we are yet to get a copy of it. We will respond after studying it. We are pre-occupied with the present developments in the state,” Sriramulu said.
Yeddyurappa called a meeting of his close associates Thursday morning, shortly after the BJP decided on his ouster. The meeting, attended by some 10 ministers and 25 legislators, is being seen as an attempt at showing his strength.
Though the Reddy brothers claimed all along that they were not indulging in any mining activity, as they had neither mines or mining licenses in the state, Hegde Wednesday said there was enough evidence to prove they had indulged in illegal mining and export of iron ore from the state. Hindu