K.S. Eshwarappa, BJP leader and Minister in Karnataka, lodges a formal complaint with the Governor about Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s ‘authoritarian’ ways and ‘interference’ in other Ministers’ departments

Published : April 01, 2021 15:51 IST

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa (left) and K.S. Eshwarappa at the Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru on March 5. Photo: The Hindu Photo Archives

K.S. Eshwarappa, veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RDPR) in Karnataka, has formally complained about the “direct interference” of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa “in the affairs of other Cabinet Ministers’ Department” in a strongly worded five-page letter addressed to Governor Vajubhai Vala. The letter argues that the Chief Minister’s “interference” was a violation of The Karnataka Government (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1977.

Alleging that the Chief Minister was personally culpable of “serious lapses” and had displayed an “authoritarian way of running the administration”, the senior-most Kuruba leader of the saffron party provided instances of how his authority as Minister had been bypassed by the Chief Minister. Drawing the attention of the Governor to how the Chief Minister sanctioned “Rs.65 crore for one district, neglecting the remaining 29 districts”, Eshwarappa pointed out that the Principal Secretary had “no power to issue Government Order without the approval of the Minister-in-charge”.

Eshwarappa has also accused the Chief Minister of nepotism as “the list of civil works submitted by the individual, namely, President, Bangalore Urban Zilla Panchayat, are approved in violation of the Provision of Karnataka Panchayat and Gram Swaraj”, adding that the individual in question was a “close relative of the Chief Minister’s family”.

Citing another instance of a breach of administrative procedure, Eshwarappa states that Yediyurappa sanctioned “huge funds to the tune of Rs.774 crore…under RDPR, bypassing Minister-in-charge and again the Chief Minister’s Office is putting pressure on Principal Secretary to issue Government Order….”

The letter adds that these serious procedural lapses have already been brought to the notice of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the national president of the BJP and other senior leaders of the party in Karnataka. In its concluding paragraph, the letter urges the Governor to “advise the Hon’ble Chief Minister to adhere to the rules and practices, followed in the discharge of duties by the Cabinet Minister and further take into confidence the Cabinet colleagues and adopt policy of non-interference in discharge of constitutional responsibilities by the cabinet colleagues”.

Reacting to the development, D.K. Shivakumar, senior opposition MLA and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, tweeted: “A senior BJP Minister has made very serious accusations against CM Yediyurappa in a letter to the Governor. The CM must immediately submit his resignation or must sack the Minister if the accusations aren’t true.”