Yeddy, steady won’t go

With barely a day to go before the much hyped up Lokyukta report on illegal mining, Karnataka has erupted into a hotbed of activity. While Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappas rivals are plotting his removal in the wake of his name appearing in the report, the man himself is holding his chair very tight.
Yeddyurappa finds himself alone in this battle as he faces his party colleagues, the high command, the Lokayukta and the Governor all of who want him to step down.
Yeddyurappa meanwhile has thrown open a challenge to the Lokayukta questioning the credibility of the report. Why was it leaked he questioned. He ought not to have spoken about it before making it public, Yeddyurappa who is in Mauritus said when asked. Earlier he had said that there was no question of him stepping down while literally rubbishing the report.
The Lokayukta Justice Santhosh Hegde however said this is not some personal battle. It does not matter to me who steps down or not. Let those guilty be punished. I am not really expecting the State Government to do anything and I feel only the Supreme Court can do something about this he said when contacted.
The Congress meanwhile has raised its pitch ahead of this report. They have however heaved a sigh of relief as the report does not mention the names of former Chief Ministers S M Krishna and N Dharam Singh. The Lokayukta had said that the report does not deal with that period.
The real trouble for Yeddyurappa is however from his party workers who have already written to the high command seeking his removal. The likes of Jagadish Shettar, K S Eshwarappa and R Ashok are in waiting to grab Yeddyurappa’s coveted chair. Yeddyurappa has however made it clear that the chair can be occupied by Shobha Karandlage and none else. He also has said that if this change is made then he should be made the party president, a formula which his rivals have trashed.
His rivals say on condition of anonymity that the more Yeddyurappa sticks on the more the image of the party gets tarnished.
However it is not easy for the high command to remove Yeddyurappa unless he is pacified and his terms agreed upon. He is literally a one man show and enjoys the clout of more than half the MLAs in the party who say he is the face of the party. Any hasty move by the high command could seal the fate of the party as the party would split.
The CMs legal team has advised him not to quit as it would give an indication that he guilty. He has been advised to challenge the report and wait and see what the judiciary would decide. An independent inquiry is not good enough to topple a CM his team has advised him.
The ball is surely in the court of the Chief Minister and what he would do one would have to wait and see. However for the time being it does not appear to budge.

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Speaker rejects T leaders’ resignation

In a fresh drama, the speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative assembly has rejected all 101 resignations of the leaders from the Telangana region. The speaker who has been sitting over these resignations for the past one month rejected the resignations on the ground that they were done in haste.
The speaker has now left for London. The TRS leaders have decided to re submit their resignations on Sunday. The MLAs and MPs from the Congress and TDP will have seperate meetings to decide on the next course of action.
Sources however say that they will submit their resignations once again and will continue to do so until a seperate state of Telangana is formed. Moreover there is immense pressure on all these MLAs not to change their mind until statehood is granted.

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Ahead of the much hyped Lokayakuta report

Political tensions are at an all time high in Karnataka thanks to the Lokayukta report which is all set to be released. Portions of it which have been leaked go on to suggest that the Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa finds a mention in that report and this has given the opposition the required ammunition to start firing at him once again.

Yeddyurappa who is holidaying in Mauritius received a double blow yesterday when the High Court paved the way for the Lokayukta court to prosecute him. The CM had been wishing that the High Court quashes proceedings against him, but that was not to happen. In addition to this the Lokayukta has been saying that there are specific instances to show that the CM has received kick backs from the mining lobby and all that money had been diverted to a trust which is run by the Chief Minister’s sons.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether Yeddyurappa will step down. Governor of Karnataka, H R Bharadwaj just told reporters that he will act on the report of the Lokayukta once the report is out. The governor does have the power to take cognizance of such a report and seek action against the Chief Minister. Bharadwaj said, “ let the report come out and then I will act on it.”

However the BJP has ruled out any action against the Chief Minister. These charges have been there and it is before the High Court. On the basis of findings we cannot expect the Chief Minister to step down, V Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson for the BJP said when contacted.

The CM who is away in Mauritius is said to have called on his core team to discuss the developments. There is also talk that the Reddy brothers may be called there to discuss this issue further.

The BJP will however have one less headache to deal with once the report is out. They have been facing a lot of flak from the Janata Dal (S) on various corruption charges. However the JD(S) is quiet as of today since the report also names their leader H D Kumaraswamy in the scam. Kumaraswamy has said that he would quit from his MP post if the allegations against him are proven.

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How will Lokayukta report be acted upon?

The much hyped up report of the Lokayukta is all set to be made public. While political parties are discussing ways of having the upper hand, it is the Governor who will play a major role in the future once this report is released.

Although such reports can be challenged before the Court and a stay sought on it, the first course of action which the governor would take would rely heavily on Sections 12 and 13 of the Lokayukta Act. While the Lokayukta report would have its findings and also recommendations, it would be left entirely up to the government to act upon it. The government is at liberty to either act on the report or reject it.

However this time around it would not be that easy thanks to a pro active governor in the state who is vested with a lot of powers where the Lokayukta act is concerned. Once the report is submitted and if a copy of the same is given to the Governor, then he will use Sections 12 and 13 to act on the report.

Section 12 states that if after the investigation of any action if the Lokayukta is satisfied then he shall by a report in writing recommend to the competent authority concerned that such injustice or hardship shall be remedied or redressed in such manner and within such time as may be specified in the report. Once such a recommendation is made the competent authority shall within a month intimate that action has been taken. However if the Lokayukta or the Upa Lokayukta is not satisfied with the action taken report then he can recommend to the Governor by way of a special report to take action against the accused. On receipt of the special report under sub-section (5) the Governor shall cause a copy thereof together with an explanatory memorandum to be laid before each House of the State Legislature. The Lokayukta or an Upalokayukta may at his discretion make available, from time to time, the substances of cases closed or otherwise disposed of by him which may appear to him to be of general, public, academic or professional interest in such manner and to such persons as he may deem appropriate.

Section 13 is another aspect that will be under play once this report is out. Section 13 of this act deals with the laws about a public servant having to vacate office if directed by the Lokayukta. If the Lokayukta finds a substantial charge against a public servant he can seek that the person be vacated from office. In such a case the Lokayukta by way of a declaration under sub-section (3) of section 12 can recommend to the competent authority that the public servant be vacated from office. In such cases the competent authority is either the Chief Minister of the Governor. However in the instant case it would be the governor since the Chief Minister finds a mention of himself in the report. The competent authority is at liberty to accept such a declaration or reject it.

The competent authority shall send a copy of such report to the State Government, which may either accept or reject the declaration. If it is not rejected within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the report, or the copy of the report, as the case may be, it shall be deemed to have been accepted on the expiry of the said period of three months. Once the report is accepted then the same shall be intimated to the Governor by way of registered post, the rule also goes on to state.

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Telangana- How much longer?

Congress leaders from the Telangana region who have submitted their resignations say that a permanent solution to the issue will come about only by November and this is the indication that they have got from the high command.
While there are attempts being made by the high command to begin a process by August, the leaders say that the entire process may be completed only by November.
The Congress at New Delhi is trying to hand out various options to ensure that the leaders take back their resignations. However one of the leaders who was at New Delhi says that they cannot settle for anything less than the formation of the state. If the union government is speaking about packages then it will not do. We will not take back our resignations until the state is formed. Moreover we have made a promise to the people of our region and there is no going back on that.
Meanwhile Subhash Reddy, general secretary of the TRS said that the government will have no option but to divide the state. He said that the reports that they have been getting is that the state will be divided and Hyderabad would be a common capital. The TRS has no problems with this provided it is only for five years. We are getting the right signals from the central government regarding the formation of Telangana, but it is to be seen how much time they would take. He says that the government will need to take into consideration the opinion of the rest of the MLAs too. There are attempts being made to hold meetings with the MLAs from the rest of Andhra Pradesh and there is no option but to come to a final settlement, he also added.

Meanwhile there is pressure mounting on the government and the rumour mill is abuzz that Andhra Pradesh may go into President’s rule by the end of the month. However sources in the g government have rubbished this as a mere rumour being floated by pro Telangana activists. However what has worried the government even more is that there is a clear divide today which one can see in Hyderabad. Moreover some of the Telangana activists have been telling us that Andhra officials will not be tolerated henceforth in the region. It is time they left this place and worked in their region.

The Telangana activists have become more aggressive. There have been instances where members of the non Telangana fraternity have been attacked and this rift within the state is only proving to be an ugly affair. Moreover the situation is likely to worsen from the 25th of this month onwards when the Telangana activists forcibly pull down boards bearing the name Andhra Pradesh state and replace it with Telangana state boards.

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BSY says he will complete term

B S Yeddyurappa who is holidaying in Mauritius issued a statement stating that he will complete his term as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Yeddyurappa has been in the eye of the storm ever since the yet to be released mining report mentions his name as one of the main accused in the case.
He termed the allegations as baseless and said he discuss the same once he is in Bangalore. Although he did not say it in as many words he said that the report was rubbish.
Meanwhile the opposition is already laying the ground work to seek for the Chief Minister’s resignation. They say that the BJP has no moral right to fight a war on corruption when their CM himself is mired in contreversy. A section of the BJP is also discusiing the various options about a leadership change.

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Who is Karnataka’s next Chief Minister?

While Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has made it clear that he would not step down as Chief Minister, there is already a discussion on as to who will be the next Chief Minister of the state. The discussion has emerged in the wake of the illegal mining report which names the Chief Minister in it.
Here are the names that are being floated. Shobha Karandlaje, R Ashok and Jagadish Shettar. For the party high command Shobha appears to be the ideal candidate since she has the blessings of Yeddyurappa. At a recent meeting in Hubli, Yeddyurappa had said that if at all he is to be replaced then Shobha should suceed him. However Ananth Kumar who had sensed such a statement stayed away from the meeting which gave the indication that he was not in favour of this candidate.
The other issues was that R Ashok opposed this candidature. He said both he and Shobha come from the very powerful Vokkaliga community and hence he being the senior he should not be overlooked.
However the other section led by Ananth Kumar is not agreeable to both. They say that Jagadish Shettar should be made the Chief Minister and state party chief K S Eshwarappa the deputy. However this was opposed by Yeddyurappa.
The issue is that caste plays a very major factor in Karnataka. The BJP has come to power largely on the support of Lingayat votes and replacing Yeddyurappa may prove costly. Yeddyurappa says that there shall be month other Lingayat leader replacing him and if there is any such move then he will have to remain the Chief Minister.
The high command finds itself in a fix. When the Parliament begins they will be defenceless of they do not replace Yeddyurappa. On the other hand replacing him without his consent would mean that they would breaking the party in Karnataka of which a majority is controlled by Yeddyurappa. Hence they would try and pacify the other group to go ahead with Shobhas candidature. If this is done then Yeddyurappa will not only keep the party united but will also protect the Lingayat vote bank for the BJP. Moreover the high command would also be looking to silnce the opposition in Karnataka as well as the Governor who have been gunning for Yeddyurappa’s head for a long time. Moreover once the mining report is out then matters could just get out of control. They can’t even blame the Congress since the Lokayukta just clarified that the names of s M Krishna and Dharam Singh don’t find a mention since the report doesn’t deal with that period when they were Chief Ministers of Karnataka.
The RSS angle also comes into play here. While the RSS would prefer Suresh Kumar a brahmin as the candidate, the problem is that he will not be able to do anything for the vote bank since the Brahmins are in minority when compared to the vote banks of the Lingayats and Vokkaligas. However as a compromise they may agree to the candidature of Shobha who they feel is a good candidate.
In Karnataka everything remains uncertain until the last word is spoken. Yeddyurappa is no mood as now to sacrifice his seat and it is just a matter of time before another round of drama unfolds in the state.

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Bhagwad Gita-a way of life, not saffron ideology

A controversy on a smaller scale had broken out in Karnataka following a private initiative of a mutt which intended to teach the Bhagwad Gita. Matter turned a bit more ugly when the programme of this mutt called the Swarnavalli Mutt got regularized following an endorsement by the Karnataka state government.

The BJP in Karnataka which runs the government has been crying from roof tops saying that is the prerogative of the institution to teach the Bhagwad Gita and it is not a state policy. However the remarks made by the Education Minister Vishveshwar Kaggeri that people must “leave the country, if they do not respect the Bhagavad Gita is what set the ball rolling for people from a certain section to cry foul. However Kageri also clarified that the circular only says that the programme is good and schools can cooperate. We are not funding it in any way. The Students Federation of India launched an agitation and the state minorities association has approached the High Court.

The lurking question today is whether the Bhagwad Gita should form part of the syllabus and whether it is associated only with the Hindus. Former Member of Parliament and senior BJP leader, Dhananjay Kumar who has been speaking on this issue has this to say to us about this issue.

For starters I was quoted out of context when some news channels quoted me stating that all other religions are western religions. All I was trying to say was that the Quran and the Bible have come from outside the country and nothing more. There is nothing wrong in what I just said.

One must realize that the Bhagwad Gita is not a holy grantha and is not meant for one single religion. It has taught the way of life for all of mankind and hence it cannot be associated with one particular religion. Countries like Indonesia and Malaysia respect the Bhagwad Gita as they do not feel that it belongs to one particular religion. I do not understand the fuss that is being created over here.

The point I am making here is that no body is forcing anybody to learn the Bhagwa Gita. If there are some who want to study it then why should anyone oppose it or even object to it.

What I want to tell these people who are protesting this is that it is not the policy of the BJP government that the Bhagwad Gita should be taught in schools. There are some institutions who want to teach it and if students are willing to learn then I really do not see what the problem really is.

Teaching the Bhagwad Gita in schools should not form any controversy. It need not be part of a syllabus or taught as a curriculam. But I would say that it is good for individuals and there is no harm in learning what the Gita has to preach since it will help improve individuals.

Our country has been witnsessing such contreversies over various issues. It is so unfortunate that singing the Vande Mataram is being opposed in our country. Can we sing it in the USA or the UK? If we do not sing it in India then where else do we sing it? We always tend to meekly submit to such pressures. This is a question of our country and we should not forget that.

I am not trying to say that teaching of the Bhagwad Gita should become a part of the state policy. At no point in time has the government ever indicated that it would want teaching the Gita to become a part of its state policy. All we are saying is that if someone wants to learn it then do not oppose it. It pains me to learn that the Bhagwad Gita is being associated with one particular religion when this is not what should be done. What each one ought to realize is that it has nothing to do with a particular religion and it is only a way of life and studying it would help people become better humans and individuals.

The President of the Students Federation of India, H R Naveen has another take on the matter. This is a secular country and how can the text of one religious group be taught in a school. The Congress in Karnataka too has adopted the view of the SFI and the Minorities Federation and says that the BJP has been trying to impose its saffron ideology on the students in Karnataka.




BSY, HDK and the Reddys named in illegal mining report

The report on illegal mining in Karnataka is said to have named Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappaa, former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, the Reddy brothers among others.
Portions of the report which have been leaked suggest that former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, Congress MP Anil Lad and a close aide of the Reddy brothers and cabinet minister in Karnataka, Sriramulu have been named as the main accused in the scam.
Justice Santhosh Hegde who will release the report in a couple of days however maintained that his report has been leaked. He refused to confirm the findings in the report. My officers are under threat we need protection. Our phone lines have been tapped due to the high profile nature of this report.
In the report the Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has been named as one of the main accused who has helped facilitate this scam. It names Janardhan Reddy and Karunkar Reddy of Bellary to be behind this scam running into crores of rupees. Further the report also speaks about the roles played by two chief minister (former) H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (s) and N Dharam Singh of the Congress. It also states that sriramulu a cabinet minister close to the Reddys are also involved in illegal mining. Further it names Anil Lad Congress MP as well.
The report also speaks about the manner in which these politicians have connived with various officials in the state to carry outt illegal mining. The report also speaks about the various other agencies which have helped in carrying out this racket. Further it states that many of these leaders had flouted power to get licenses and other jobs done to carry out this trade illegally.
The first report by the Lokayukta dealt with the modus operandi and environmental hassles on this issue, but this pin points the big names behind this multi crore mining racket being carried out illegally in Karnataka.

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Report on mining- will it level political equations?

Karnataka has been quiet for a while after political tempers have temporarily stopped flying around. However what everyone is awaiting with bated breath is the release of the second report on illegal mining, which many have termed is expected to be a block buster.

Justice Santhosh Hegde, Lokayukta of Karnataka is expected to release this report anytime now and all eyes are what he would say in the report. Justice Hegde however stated that he would not announce the date as of now, but also added that the report would be out soon.

There is a lot of political activity in the wake of this report being released. All members of the opposition are training their guns already on the BJP government which they feel is the culprit behind this multi crore scandal. The centre of attraction are however the Reddy brothers of Bellary who have been time and again accused of carrying out illegal mining activities in the state.

However sources now indicate that the report would be more of a leveler rather than curse for the BJP government which has faced nothing but problems ever since it came to power nearly three years back. Sources say that not one single political party will be under the scanner in this report. Illegal mining has not been carried out by one party alone. All those parties which have been in power have been notorious to allow mining illegally and all of them will find a mention in the report. However the biggest embarrassment will be for the BJP since it is the party in power and there will be a section of the opposition which will seek the stepping down of the party from power. But the report will also give the BJP enough ammunition to fight back on the ground that illegal has not been only its exclusive domain.

The tempo to seek the stepping down of the government has already begun with Janata Dal (S) leader, H D Kumaraswamy already seeking imposition of President’s rule in the state. The Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa has however decided to take a break from politics and has left for Mauratius on a week long holiday. While his close aides maintain that the CM needed a break, others however view it as a tactic he has deployed to avoid the storm following this report which is just around the corner.

Meanwhile there is also another controversy that surrounds this report and that has been the statement by senior BJP leader Dhananjaya Kumar who is said to have pacified the Lokayukta to leave the CM out of the report. Justice Hegde had however gone public on the same which has led to a lot of bad blood between them.

Justice Hegde says that he would not reveal anything about the report. He however adds that there has been no political will to stop illegal mining. The rest you will get to know once the report is released he added.