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Mining scam: Yeddyurappa refuses to step down

By The Assam Tribune
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BANGALORE/NEW DELHI, July 25 � Facing more heat in the illegal mining scam, a defiant Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today asserted he would not quit but left it to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to take a call on his fate in the light of the Lokayukta report, reports PTI.

Returning to Bangalore from a Mauritius holiday, Yeddyurappa also shot off a letter to Gadkari seeking a probe by a party panel into various charges against him including land allotment in an apparent bid to clear his name.

Yeddyurappa said he would abide by �whatever decision� is taken by Gadkari, who also spoke to the Chief Minister.

Gadkari said the Chief Minister has asked him to take a final call on his fate in the wake of Lokayukta having prepared a damning indictment of him.

The BJP president insisted that a decision would be taken based on the seriousness of the charges made in the �official document�. Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said his report would be released on Wednesday.

�I have talked to the Karnataka Chief Minister. He has asked me to take a decision as party president on the issue and I will follow it. I have never taken a political decision based on perceptions. So as soon as we get a copy of the Lokayukta report, and based on the charges made in it, the party will take appropriate action,� Gadkari said in Delhi.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said that if the leaked report of the Karnataka Lokayukta on illegal mining is correct then it is an indictment of Yeddyurappa.

Shortly after his arrival, Yeddyurappa, who appeared relaxed, said, �I am going to continue as Chief Minister for another two years.� He said the Government would examine the Lokayukta report in detail once it was submitted and initiate �appropriate action at an appropriate time.�

The findings of the Lokayukta that the mining scam has caused a loss of Rs 1,800 crore to the state exchequer for 14 months from March 2009 has set off a clamour for Yeddyurappa�s resignation by opposition parties and from some within BJP.

The leaked Lokayukta report has also indicted four ministers and several others, including former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy

Seeking to take a high moral ground on alleged telephone tapping of Hegde, Yeddyurappa said, �If the charge (against his government) is proved, not only am I going to withdraw from active politics, but also resign from (the post of) Chief Minister. I will permanently retire from the party�.

�I am an ordinary worker of BJP. I have always grown with the belief that the party high-command is always supreme,� he said.

Yeddyurappa, who completed three years in office in May, said reports that he had held out a �dhamki� (threat) and challenged the central leadership were untrue.

The Chief Minister, who has consistently been targeted by JD(S), said there is a political conspiracy to defame him through false accusations.

Yeddyurappa in his letter to Gadkari requested him to form a committee of three party leaders to look into certain Lokayukta observations pertaining to his family members, as also BJP government�s achievements in the last three years.

�The committee (M Venkaiah Naidu, H N Ananth Kumar and Dharmendra Pradhan) may be requested to submit their report within two months�, the Chief Minister said.

He also wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appoint a committee of senior personalities from Karnataka to inquire into alleged phone-tapping of Lokayukta.

Yeddyurappa suggested that the committee may be chaired by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Santosh Hegde himself.

�Such a committee would ensure a high degree of transparency to the enquiry as it would have representatives from all opposition political parties in Karnataka, as well as the Lokayukta himself�, said the Chief Minister, who released copies of the letters at a press conference, where he was flanked by several of his Cabinet colleagues.

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Mining scam: Yeddyurappa refuses to step down

BANGALORE/NEW DELHI, July 25 � Facing more heat in the illegal mining scam, a defiant Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today asserted he would not quit but left it to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to take a call on his fate in the light of the Lokayukta report, reports PTI.

Returning to Bangalore from a Mauritius holiday, Yeddyurappa also shot off a letter to Gadkari seeking a probe by a party panel into various charges against him including land allotment in an apparent bid to clear his name.

Yeddyurappa said he would abide by �whatever decision� is taken by Gadkari, who also spoke to the Chief Minister.

Gadkari said the Chief Minister has asked him to take a final call on his fate in the wake of Lokayukta having prepared a damning indictment of him.

The BJP president insisted that a decision would be taken based on the seriousness of the charges made in the �official document�. Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said his report would be released on Wednesday.

�I have talked to the Karnataka Chief Minister. He has asked me to take a decision as party president on the issue and I will follow it. I have never taken a political decision based on perceptions. So as soon as we get a copy of the Lokayukta report, and based on the charges made in it, the party will take appropriate action,� Gadkari said in Delhi.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said that if the leaked report of the Karnataka Lokayukta on illegal mining is correct then it is an indictment of Yeddyurappa.

Shortly after his arrival, Yeddyurappa, who appeared relaxed, said, �I am going to continue as Chief Minister for another two years.� He said the Government would examine the Lokayukta report in detail once it was submitted and initiate �appropriate action at an appropriate time.�

The findings of the Lokayukta that the mining scam has caused a loss of Rs 1,800 crore to the state exchequer for 14 months from March 2009 has set off a clamour for Yeddyurappa�s resignation by opposition parties and from some within BJP.

The leaked Lokayukta report has also indicted four ministers and several others, including former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy

Seeking to take a high moral ground on alleged telephone tapping of Hegde, Yeddyurappa said, �If the charge (against his government) is proved, not only am I going to withdraw from active politics, but also resign from (the post of) Chief Minister. I will permanently retire from the party�.

�I am an ordinary worker of BJP. I have always grown with the belief that the party high-command is always supreme,� he said.

Yeddyurappa, who completed three years in office in May, said reports that he had held out a �dhamki� (threat) and challenged the central leadership were untrue.

The Chief Minister, who has consistently been targeted by JD(S), said there is a political conspiracy to defame him through false accusations.

Yeddyurappa in his letter to Gadkari requested him to form a committee of three party leaders to look into certain Lokayukta observations pertaining to his family members, as also BJP government�s achievements in the last three years.

�The committee (M Venkaiah Naidu, H N Ananth Kumar and Dharmendra Pradhan) may be requested to submit their report within two months�, the Chief Minister said.

He also wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appoint a committee of senior personalities from Karnataka to inquire into alleged phone-tapping of Lokayukta.

Yeddyurappa suggested that the committee may be chaired by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Santosh Hegde himself.

�Such a committee would ensure a high degree of transparency to the enquiry as it would have representatives from all opposition political parties in Karnataka, as well as the Lokayukta himself�, said the Chief Minister, who released copies of the letters at a press conference, where he was flanked by several of his Cabinet colleagues.

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