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Land scams
Guv okays K’taka CM’s prosecution
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

BJP fumes

New Delhi: The BJP has reacted strongly to Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj’s decision to grant sanction to prosecute state Chief Minister BS Yedyurappa. Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley recalled how the Governor has already made up his mind and announced that he would be granting sanction before January 27.

Bangalore, January 21
The political potboiler in Karnataka, featuring fight between Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and Governor HR Bhardwaj, is heading for a stormy climax with the Governor today according sanction for the prosecution of the Chief Minister.

“He has given sanction for the prosecution of the Chief Minister. It is up to the applicants now to decide how they will like to prosecute the CM,” a Raj Bhavan official said.

“The petition given by two advocates of Bangalore, Sirajin Basha and KN Balaraj, on December 28, 2010, requesting for the sanction of His Excellency, the Governor of Karnataka, under Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Section 197 of the CrPC for prosecuting Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa in an appropriate court of law for various grave allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct, has been considered by His Excellency and he has granted the sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister by an order passed by him this evening,” said a press statement issued by the Raj Bhavan.

“An FIR will be lodged against the CM,” a Raj Bhavan official said. The petitioners had also sought sanction for the prosecution of Home Minister R Ashoka. The Raj Bhavan press release, however, did not mention Ashoka’s case. “As of now, we are concentrating on the CM only,” the official said and hung up the phone.

Yeddyurappa is now expected to approach the court for seeking a stay on the Governor’s order. On the political front, all hell is now expected to break loose in the state with the ruling BJP agitating against Bhardwaj and the Opposition parties using the opportunity to turn the heat on Yeddyurappa and the first BJP government in the state that he heads.

Earlier in the day, Bhardwaj wrote a letter to Yeddyurappa, rejecting the Cabinet resolution adopted on January 19 urging the Governor to drop proceedings for prosecuting the Chief Minister.

In a scathing letter to Yeddyurappa, copies of which were made available to the press, Bhardwaj wrote, “The sum and substance of the Cabinet decision is that it simply requires me to put a lid on the serious allegations of corruption against you.”

Quoting a Supreme Court order, Bhardwaj wrote, “The Governor is entitled and required to take an independent decision on the basis of the material available and, therefore, the Cabinet decision recommending dropping the consideration of the petition itself is unwarranted.”

The Cabinet resolution had asked the Governor to drop the proceedings to prosecute Yeddyurappa and Home Minister R Ashoka in connection with alleged land scams on the basis of a complaint filed by two lawyers. It said investigations into the scams were already being carried out by the Lokayukta and a Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired high court judge.

Infuriated Yeddyurappa has demanded an “unconditional apology” from Bhardwaj for describing the Cabinet resolution to drop proceedings for his prosecution on corruption charges as a “case of a thief admonishing a policeman” (ulta chor kotwal ko dante). He said the remark was an insult of the people of the state.

The state BJP also decided to organise protests against the Governor in all district and “taluk” headquarters to press for his immediate recall. BJP legislators and ministers will also hold “Raj Bhavan Chalo” march on January 25, demanding that Bhardwaj should “vacate Raj Bhavan”. A delegation of BJP’s central leaders and MPs from the state would meet President Pratibha Patil on January 24 in New Delhi to complain against the Governor and demand his recall.





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