Anyone but Ananth Kumar

Minutes after Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa confirmed that he would be quitting as the CM, his supporters have upped the ante against Ananth Kumar. Yeddyurappa’ supporters have now reached the Hotel Ashok in Bangalore with a memorandum to the leaders from the high command.
In their memorandum they have requested the high command not to appoint Ananth Kumar at any cost. The leaders have been shouting slogans against Kumar and have stated that he should not be made the CM come what may.
This move by Yeddyurappa’s followers gives a signal that the high command is toying with the idea of making Kumar the CM. The bad blood between Kumar and Yeddyurappa is an open secret and all through the latter has been saying that he would never accept his candidature. However the high command has made it clear to Yeddyurappa that they would chose the next leader on the basis on the opinion of all the legislators.
The BJP wants to get this process over with as it wants to hold the legislature party meeting tomorrow at anu cost.
Yeddyurappa’s supporters have also complained that Kumar’s name features in the Nira Radia tapes and also the major HUDCO scam. Since he is tainted he should not be permitted to become the Chief Minister

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Yeddi makes it official

It appears that the drama has come to an end. Chief Miniater B S Yeddyurappa has issued a press state stating that he would tender his resignation on Sunday in the afternoon. As per the decison of the party’s parliamentary board I will be submitting my resignation on July 31.
The media has been misleading everyone that I would not tender my resignation. However I would like to clarify that I shall be resigning on July 31 Sunday in the afternoon.
The letter was read out to the media by Basavaraj Bommai, a close aide of Yeddyurappa after holdings talks with the CM.
Meanwhile a large number of MLAs from the BJP have been called to the hotel Ashok to hold talks with the two leaders from Delhi. The talks are regarding the selection of a new leader to succeed Yeddyurappa.

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High Command roots for Shettar

The suspense continues as to who would be the next Chief Minister of Karnataka. Although B S Yeddyurappa wants his man in the chair, the high command has been pitching the name of Jagadish Shettar.
Sources say that although things may change as the day progresses, a large number within the BJP has been rooting for Shettar. Shettar who enjoys the support of a large number of MLAs, the Lingayat community and most importantly Ananth Kunar is the man with the best chance at the moment. Yeddyurappa had however opposed Shettar and said that no other Lingayat leader other than hold the post. In order to counter this the BJP is also toying with the idea of appointing Ananth Kumar to the post of CM. Sources say that while Yeddyurappa will be kept out of the decision making to chose a new CM, he would however be given the post of party president after he steps down.
Dr V S Acharya who refused to comment on the new leader however said that there would be an announcement by evening.
Venkaiah Naidu also maintained that the leader would be chosen by the legislators. Shettar too says that there will be a leader by evening while adding that a new leader would be chosen by evening.
Yeddyurappa who has promised to quit by tomorrow however continues to battle it out seeking a bigger say in the decision making. Yedyurappa just finished a meeting with his supoorters who are now saying their leader be given one chance. His loyalist Renukacharya says that they are requesting the high command to allow Yedydyurappa to continue in office. At no point has the CM said that he would not step down. All he has sought is time. We have the support of 70 MLAs and we are united in our demand to let Yeddyurappa continue.

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Step down, then let’s talk

The BJP high command has dealt with an iron fist with B S Yeddyurappa and told him in clear words, first quit and then let us talk. During the long meeting that Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh held with Yeddyurappa, they told him that they will not accept any of his demands unless he steps down.
Yeddyurappa placed his usual demands before the two leaders, but they were in no mood to listen. They told him that their leaders from New Delhi had made it clear that a new leader has to be elected at any cost. Once the party has taken a decision, it cannot be changed. Hence make the transition peaceful and smooth.
Yeddyurappa had no option but to agree but stuck to his ground and said that he will quit only tomorrow by 1PM and there was no change in that decision.
The leaders are said to have agreed to that demand but are most likely to go ahead with the process to select a new leader.
Yeddyurappa in the meeting first made a strong pitch to nominate his sucessor. When the leaders diagreed he said he needed an assurance that he would be made the party chief in Karnataka. However he was clearly told that all these issues will be considered only once he puts in his papers.
Yedyurappa who is fast losing out on options will meet with his loaylists and discuss what would have to be done next. It is unlikely that he will step down without a fight although he has decided to quit by 1 noon on Sunday as he had promised two days back.

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Yeddy gives in

The talks between Yeddyurappa and the senior BJP leaders appear to have suceeded with sources now indicating that the Chief Minister has agreed to step down on Sunday afternoon at 1 PM.
The meeting held with Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh lasted over an hour with Yeddyurappa placing his demands before them. Although there is no official word on his set of demands, sources say that the senior leaders were tough on him and said could face action if he played out this drama further. They also told him that they would want a decision before Monday and the issue needs to be resolved.
Yeddyurappa’s supporters however said that they would make one more appeal to the high command to retain him. However his close aide and excise minister Renukacharya said that while they would question the Lokayukta report they would stand by Yeddyurappa in whatever decision he takes.

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Step down or be expelled

Fed up with the defiance, the BJP high command has issued a warning to Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa to either step down or face explusion from the party. Sources informed that a formal decision in this regard is expected anytime soon, but the message has been conveyed to Yeddyurappa.
The BJP’s top brass in New Delhi were forced to take such a decision after watching teh drama unfold in Karnataka today. Yesterday, Yeddyurappa had made it clear to the high command and also the party’s national president, Nithin Gadkari that he would be resigning to his post on July 31. However a couple of hours after that letter that he sent to Gadkari, he changed his mind and maintained that he would not step down. His supporters numbering around 75 even shouted slogans against the party high command and demanded that the resignation be reconsidered. Although sources close to Yeddyurappa say that he will not go back on his word, he would still want the high command to abide by his conditions. His conditions are either he gets to chose to next Chief Minister or has a deputy CM of his choice. However he has been adamant about being given the post of BJP state president.
The high command wants him to resign ahead of the legislature party meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow. They feel that a new leader can be elected only once Yeddyurappa steps down. The high command has also said that the new leader will be elected by all the MLAs who would have a final say in the matter.

BJP drama drags on

The drama in Bangalore over the resignation of Chief Minizter continues and so far there is absoljtely no solution. BJP state President told the media a while ago that he is hopeful of a decision by tomorrow and also added that the high command would take the opinion of the MLAs before making a final call.
BJP leaders, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh along with other senior leaders continued to meet with various factions in the BJP, Karnataka to find a solution to the ongoing crisis. Yeddyurappa has made it clear to them he will not be stepping down immediately unless some of this demands have been met. Sources say that he has changed a couple of his demands and says that a candidate of his should at least be made the Deputy Chief Minister while he should be given the post of party president in the state. However there is opposition in some circles to appointing a deputy chief minister. However Eshwarappa who is also a hopeful for the post of Chief Minister said that he is unaware of any such demands. There may be demands, but the high command has not conveyed anything to me about that.
All MLAs will give their opinions about this issue to the party seniors tomorrow and I can say with confidence that there is no split in the party as is being made out to be. Every family has its own problems and we are having some too today. However I am confident that we will tide over this crisis with ease, he also said. Yeddyurappa is a good leader and he has a lot of regard for the party. I am sure he will not go against the decision of the high command. This statement is completely contrary to what the Yeddyurappa followers have been saying. They continue to rally behind Yeddyurappa and say that the high command must reconsider its decision since the Lokayukta report is biased and does not make out a strong case against the JD(S) and the Congress who are also involved in illegal mining. Eshwarappa was however not critical of the Lokayukta report. He said on several ocassions the opposition has demanded the resignation of Yeddyurappa, but the party never inisisted that he quit. We had however said that any leader would have to step down in case of an inditement by a court or the Lokayukta in any inquiry and hence this time the party high command has sought his resignation. He was however quick to add that despite the Lokayukta naming Dharam Singh in his first report, the Congress colluded with the Governor and got his name cleared when the matter was referred to the latter. The BJP has however not done anything to that effect, he added.
Meanwhile the BJP leaders from Delhi have their task cut out and they continue to meet with various leaders seeking their opinion. The discussions revolve largely round the resignation of Yeddyurappa and they are treading cautiously since it appears that Yeddyurappa would try and split the party by showing his strength with the number of MLAs he has got. There is also a growing demand by the anti Yeddyurappa faction who have been saying that the CM should step down or else the high command should initiate disciplinary action against him. Each of the factions have been claiming the support of 70 MLAs each despite the strenght of the BJP being just 121 in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
The high command has its task cut out and once they manage to resolve the Yeddyurappa issue they will need to look into the charges levelled by the Lokayukta against the Reddy brothers and their aide B Sriramulu. However there is not a word on that in the BJP circles since the entire focus is on the Chief Minister. B Sriramulu even issued a statement in which he said that there is no instruction from the high command for him to step down, but also added that he is ready to do so if the party demands.
There are at least four different meetings that are taking place in Bangalore. While Ananth Kumar and his men are in a seperate meeting, the Chief Minister has just returned to his official residence after meeting with the party leaders. On the other hand Singh and Jaitley held a meeting with Shobha Karandlage to take her views on the crisis. The same leaders also met with Eshwarappa with the same purpose. Party sources say that there should be some decision by tomorrow following which the legislature party meeting would be held. However it would all depend on whether they can convince Yeddyurappa to step down and unless he does, there will be no progress in this matter at all.

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Yeddy show of might

An attempt made by the senior leaders from New Delhi to pacify B S Yeddyurappa to quit the post of Chief Minister has failed. Yeddyurappa has made it clear that a decision to make him step down cannot be taken without consulting all the MLAs in the party.
Sources say that Yeddyurappa told both Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh that he enjoyed the support of 73 MLAs. Ask each one of them individually who they want as their leader before asking me to step down.
Yeddyurappa however made another offer and said that the high commandd ought to give in to his demands if they want him to step down. Apart from seeking a full say in the appointment of a new leader to suceed him, he also wants to be assured that he will be the one leading the party in the next elections. Apart from this he is also seeking the post of state president of the party.
As of now he has launched a rebellion and around 50 MLAs are shotuing slogans in his support.

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Yeddy questions Lokayukta report

It looks like it will be a fight to the finish. Earlier this morning Chief Minister of Karnataka had his set of loyalists to speak up for him before the high command and now the same persons have taken on the Lokayukta of Karnataka head on.

-Why is Dharam Singh’s name missing from the report when he was named in the first report?

-Why the Lokayukta does not recommend the prosecution of H D Kumaraswamy when he has been named in the report.

-Why does it target only the Chief Minister and why has the high command taken such a decision without the consultation of the MLAs.

Now is this is a genuine concern coming out two days after the report or is it a exit bargain for Yeddyurappa.

The loyalists want answers to the above questions and have questioned both Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh as to how fair was it on part of the high command to act against Yeddyurappa when there are so many questions in the Lokayukta report which they are now saying is extremely biased against Yeddyurappa.

However BJP sources say that these are just pressure tactics and the decision to change Yeddyurappa will not change. Sources close to the Chief Minister say that he will fight it out till the date and also the high command has to take him into confidence when they chose a leader. Yeddyurappa did get the indication that the high command was not considering his options and had sent its leaders with a fixed mind of appointing a candidate who Yeddyurappa did not approve of.

This is a deliberate ploy on party of Yeddyurappa who had made it clear yesterday that he would resign on July 31st. He will drag out the issue until two of his main demands are met. If those are not abided by then he is expected to create a ruckus and ensure that the transition is not smooth. His two main demands are- let me chose the successor and make me the president of the party in Karnataka.”

However the selection of a new Chief Minister is unlikely today. Jaitley and Singh who are in Bangalore to oversee the process as observers will have to stay back another day to ensure this change happens. The reason that they are stating is that some 20 MLAs are not in the city and they would have to return for this process to be completed. Moreover the BJP would like to go for the meeting with a clear mind and not with so many issues bogging them down since at the moment there is still a rebellion from the camp of the Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa.

The Reddys story of Rs 215,12,50,357

When you read the report on illegal mining prepared by the Karnataka Lokayukta and his team you get the larger picture. While the entire state focuses on the political ramifications of this report, the report per se speaks in great deal about how the Reddy brothers have under invoiced their iron ore exports to Singapore and have also parked money in tax havens abroad.

A chapter in the mining report stating “ Under Invoicing, Evasion of Taxes and Duties by Obulapuram Mining Company has this interesting story to tell about how 215,12,50,357 has been parked outside the country by the Reddy brothers. Further it also negates the claim made by the Reddy brothers themselves that they have no mining interest in Karnataka.
M/s. Obulapuram Mining Company Private Limited (OMC), Ennoble House, Raghavachari Road, Bellary had the following Directors at the relevant time- G. Janardhana Reddy, G. Lakshmi Aruna, G. Karunakara Reddy, D. Parameshwara Reddy, B. Sree Ramulu.

The report further states that a private company by the name Man-Go Pub Pte Ltd was registered in the year 2004 at Singapore and the purpose of this company was to provide entertainment, food and

Beverage. In the year 2007 there was a special resolution passed in which the principal activities of this company were also proposed to be changed from restaurant Bars and Canteen to general whole sale trade including general imports and exports. Janardhan Reddy was appointed as Director of this Company. One share of this company i.e. GLA was transferred in favour of GJR Holdings International Limited with its address at Isle of Man on December 21 2007 and same transaction was lodged with ACRA on January 4 2008. Again it should be noted that the letter GJR in this company refers to Gali Janardhana Reddy and the company is registered in Isle of Man, which is our internationally known “Tax Heaven”. The said share was further transferred in favour of Interlink Services Group Limited, British Virgin Islands in June 2009. The British Virgin is also known to be a “Tax Heaven”. The role of GJR Holdings International

Limited and Interlink Services Group Limited under the above circumstances, requires further probe by the competent authorities.

It is to be noted that after the enquiry into the illegal exportation was initiated by Lokayukta, Janardhana Reddy ceased to be the Director of the above Company with effect from 30/12/2009 by resignation.

During the period when Sri G. Janardhana Reddy was the Director of the Company, the GLA Pet Limited had imported iron ore to the tune of 8,52,033 MTs from OMC, Bellary the origin of the ore is shown at Ports from Karnataka. There was no export of iron ore, before or after the period when Gali Janardhana Reddy was the Director of GLA, from OMC. This is seen from the export data obtained from Customs Department.

An assessment order shows under invoicing of cost of iron ore, export sales to GLA Trading International Limited, Dubai by OMC.  It may be seen for the purpose of understanding the modus operandi of OMC in exporting the iron ores. The said assessment order clearly makes out a case of relationship between the OMC and GLA Trading International Limited, Dubai.

The Lokayukta report provide details of under invoice made by OMC for the year 2007-08 as assessed by the Income Tax Department, which is huge. Having noticed the details of export of iron ore made by this company (OMC), all details of export of iron ore was sought from the Customs Department 0f Kakinada, Krishnapatnam, Vishakapatnam, Chennai, Mangalore, Belekeri, Karwar, Murmagao and Panaji. The details are further verified by the investigation team with regard to GLA as consignee. The details of Mangalore Port has not been taken into consideration, since there is not much difference found during the month of October 2008. The details received also shows that there is no export from Belikeri, Karwar, Murmagao and Panaji ports by OMC to GLA. However, the Customs House, Kakinada has given information/particulars of export made by OMC to GLA, Dubai. It is interesting to note that most of the exports were shown as originating from Karnataka.

Similarly, the report pertaining to Krishnapatnam, Vishakapatnam Ports also indicates such exports.  OMC has exported 8,09,299 MTs (excluding exports from Mangalore) to GLA in the year 2007-08 and 2008- 09.

The total under invoicing in US $ and INR comes to $52,341,292.00 corresponding to Rs.215,12,50,387.00. The face value of the US$ was taken at the prevailing rate during that time. At this stage, it should be noted that this Under Invoicing has caused loss to the Government from export made to GLA by OMC for two years i.e. 2007-08 and 2008-09 only.

It is also to be noted that the foreign exchange involved in this case, has not come to Union of India and indicates that this amount might have been parked in some Banks in Tax Heaven countries. Therefore, it is necessary that the competent department should be asked to investigate as to where this money is parked and approximately a sum of Rs.215,12,50,357.00 which should have been profit of the Government from OMC and consequent to evasion of Customs duty, Income Tax and other Taxes should be investigated and collected by the respective department, the Lokayukta has recommended.