Don’t ignore corruption charges, governor tells Yeddyurappa

Friday, December 17, 2010

BANGALORE - Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Friday bluntly told Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa not to turn a blind eye to corruption charges against him and his ministers.

Bhardwaj said he has written two letters to Yeddyurappa - one on charges against him over land deals and another about illegal iron ore mining by the Reddy brothers - but has not received any response so far.

“I expect him to respond. He is out of Bangalore and should respond as soon as he returns. I expect the reply today (Friday),” the governor told reporters on the margins of a function here.

Yeddyurappa is accused of favouring his kin with prime land in and around Bangalore while the Reddy brothers - Tourism Minister G. Janardhana and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara - have been facing charges of large scale illegal iron ore mining in Karnataka and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

“The government has not done anything on the charges against Reddy brothers. The government cannot be blind to corruption,” Bhardwaj said.

“Now the charges are against the chief minister himself. Who else has to respond to them if not the chief minister himself,” he added.

Bhardwaj denied he was writing letters to the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government on these issues at the behest of the central government led by the Congress. Bhardwaj is a long time Congressman and was central law minister prior to appointment as Karnataka governor.

“I am doing my duty as head of the state. Centre is not asking me to do anything. I am doing it in the interest of people of the state,” the governor asserted.

Yeddyurapa, touring north Karnataka, told reporters that he had not received the latest letter and would respond.

In letter sent to Yeddyurappa Wednesday and unofficially released to the media, Bhardwaj said the chief minister had not provided the information he had sought on the Reddy brothers in the two letters, one of Feb 2 and another of April 1.

Referring to allegations against the Reddy brothers, Bhardwaj had written that their continuation as ministers raised questions of propriety.

In the Wednesday letter, Bhardwaj referred to land deal allegations against Yeddyurappa and Katta Subramanya Naidu, who quit as IT minister Dec 3 following registration of a police complaint against him over illegal land allotment.

“This is a matter of concern for everyone. I request you to make available factual report for my perusal,” Bhardwaj wrote in the letter.

Filed under: Politics

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