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Governor regrets BJP taking tainted people in Karnataka ministry

Friday July 13, 2012 10:17:17 PM, IANS

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A 34-member ministry headed by Jagadish Shettar Thursday took office in Karnataka, the third Bharatiya Janata Party government in fours years, with two deputy chief ministers for the first time in the state. 

Karnataka CM-designate Shettar grapples with ministry formation

Bangalore: A day after the third BJP ministry in four years took office in Karnataka, embarrassment piled on the ruling party with portfolio allotment delayed due to lobbying and Governor H.R. Bhardwaj expressing displeasure over tainted legislators in the ministry.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also found itself in a piquant situation with a legislator from coastal Karnataka Haladi Srinivas Shetty announcing he would quit the assembly because he was denied a berth in the ministry at the last minute.

Another BJP legislator and ministerial aspirant M.P. Narayanswamy had the last laugh, saying: "I will get a chance as and when some ministers go to jail."

Bhardwaj, who has had frosty ties with the BJP when B.S. Yeddyurappa was chief minister till last July, Thursday administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministry headed by Jagadish Shettar.

Several ministers like V. Somanna, Murugesh Nirani, C. P. Yogeshwar, C. T. Ravi, are facing cases of illegal land deals. Of this Somanna, Nirani and Yogeshwar were also in the previous cabinet headed by D. V. Sadananda Gowda which quit Wednesday. Ravi is a new entrant to the ministry.

Without naming the BJP leaders to whom he had given the advice, Bhardwaj said: "I told them to keep out some names as they were facing court cases."

They (the BJP) said they would consider "but (later) said their high command has decided the list", the governor, a veteran Congress leader who was central law minister, told reporters on the margins of a function here.

Bhardwaj, however, had a word of praise for Shettar. He noted that Shettar "is generally spoken of well in Karnataka. There are no allegations against him".

Unlike the frequent sparring he had with Yeddyurappa, who quit last July over mining bribery charges, Bhardwaj had good ties with Sadananda Gowda.

The governor said he was "not happy" when Gowda quit as he was "gradually going towards clean administration".

Bhardwaj's comment are bound to raise hackles in the ruling party again as it had sought his recall because of his frequent criticism of Yeddyurappa government.

The governor has sanctioned Yeddyurappa's prosecution over corruption and illegal land deals because of which the former chief minister spent over three weeks in a Bangalore jail.

In the continuing trouble from the party side, Shettar was unable to allot portfolios because of demands from his ministers for plum departments.

"It will be done in two days," state BJP chief K. S. Eshwarappa, one of the two deputy chief ministers, told reporters in Mysore, around 130 km from Bangalore, Friday.

The delay in portfolio allotment has apparently come in handy for the ruling party to put off convening the assembly session by three days.

It was announced last week the session to pass the budget would begin July 16. However it may meet only July 19, the day voting in the presidential poll will also take place.

Halady Srinivasa Shetty, who represents Kundapura in the coastal district of Udupi, about 400km from Bangalore, told reporters here that he had not sought a berth in the ministry.

"I was told to come to Bangalore to take oath and at the last minute I was left out. This is humiliation not only to me but to my voters who want me to quit the assembly. Hence I am resigning and the decision is irrevocable," Shetty asserted.

Efforts were on to placate Shetty.

His supporters in Kundapura Friday organized a shutdown which affected normal life in the busy commercial centre as buses were off the roads and schools, colleges and commercial establishments were shut.





 




 

 

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