A day after Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was caught off guard as his former aide and minister KS Eshwarappa lodged a complaint against him with the Governor, four ministers came out in support of the CM. Revenue Minister and previously Deputy CM R Ashoka, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Health Minister Dr Sudhakar and Agriculture Minister BC Patil spoke to reporters on Thursday and criticised Eshwarappa.
As reported on Wednesday, Eshwarappa, a friend-turned-foe within the party for Yediyurappa had submitted a written complaint to Governor Vajubhai Vala alleging undue interference in his portfolio of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. He even alleged that the CM was favouring his kin. He said that the allegations had been communicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as well.
Speaking on Thursday, Ashoka said what Eshwarappa did was against the BJPâ€™s culture and stated that only because of Yeddyurappaâ€™s leadership, the party is in power in Karnataka. He also said that the CM had done nothing wrong in exercising his powers in reallocating funds.
â€śAll of us went to the election rallying behind our leader BS Yeddyurappa and under his supervision, won the election. Because of that, we are all ministers today. The letter consists of aspects of internal party matters which are to be discussed within four walls amongst party members. What has happened is not a good development. Several MLAs had come to the CM for development works in their constituencies and being the Chief Minister and Finance Minister, he has the authority to decide on the demands,â€ť Ashoka said.
He added, â€śFinding fault with this is not good. If he has a difference of opinion, he must have come and discussed it with the CM. When the government is functioning smoothly, making such statements is not good for the government and will cause embarrassment. I feel this is not a good culture.â€ť
Dr Sudhakar said that Eshwarappaâ€™s actions have resulted in an awkward position for the government, the party and Eshwarappa himself. He said, â€śAs CM, Yediyurappa has powers and rights to get any file he wants, and give grants for development work anywhere. Despite this, if the minister had any issues, he could have spoken to BSY and sorted it face to face. As a senior leader and close colleague and being from the same district, he has that access.â€ť
Wednesdayâ€™s development came at a time when Yediyurappa is facing hostility on multiple issues from within his party. Many of his cabinet colleagues and his bete noire Basangouda Ramangouda Patil Yatnal, belonging to the Panchamsali community, are demanding reservation under the 2A category from their 3B category. Yatnal, an RSS man, has been claiming for months that a new CM will be installed in the state replacing Yediyurappa. Further at present, the Ramesh Jarkiholi sex-for-job row has already caused embarrassment to the state government.