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January 23, 2013

Shobha, Udasi quit ministry; give jolt to BJP government

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Bangalore, Jan 23: In a development that could trigger fresh crisis for ruling BJP in Karnataka, two Ministers loyal to the B S Yeddyurappa-led Karnataka Janata Party today resigned from the Jagadish Shettar Ministry.

ministersPublic Works Minister C M Udasi and Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje handed over their resignations to the Chief Minister this morning.

Official sources said the resignation letters have been sent to Governor H R Bhardwaj for acceptance.

Udasi said they have been hurt by the attitude of Shettar towards MLAs and Ministers supporting Yeddyurappa, adding, the time has come to build KJP.

"Though we had indicated that we are going to submit resignation, we are getting information that the Speaker (K G Bopaiah) is out of station", Udasi said, adding, he, Shobha and a few MLAs would submit their resignation from Assembly membership to the Speaker's office later today.

Haveri MLA Nehru Olekar, a staunch Yeddyurappa loyalist, termed the "foreign tour" of the Speaker as political "strategy" of the BJP to scuttle the plans of Yeddyurappa-supporting MLAs and Ministers (who wanted to resign).

He said in case the Speaker's office hesitates to accept the resignation letters, they would meet Bhardwaj.

A cloud of uncertainty has been hanging over the Shettar ministry ever since Yeddyurappa quit the party to float his KJP in December last. The former BJP strongman has repeatedly put the government on notice about their stability, claiming support of 20-30 BJP MLAs.

Yeddyurappa's party had set two deadlines earlier to unseat the government but they turned out to be a damp squib.

Brushing aside the threats to his government, Shettar had said he would present the state budget on February 8, the last ahead of assembly polls due in May.


Shobha Karandlaje to quit ministry

Bangalore, Jan 22: Ending weeks of speculation, Karnataka Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje, a loyalist of KJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, has decided to quit the BJP ministry tomorrow.


"I am proud and have satisfaction of performing well during my tenure as Energy Minster in the last two and a half years. I am leaving the Department. It is my last day, hopefully, in office", Shobha told reporters here.

Shobha, who had already dropped hints at resigning from the ministry and also BJP to support KJP activities ahead of the assembly polls, about three months away from now, thanked officials of Energy department.

"I am very emotional also. Official have done well. Even when Karnataka Power Corporation employees went on strike recently demanding wage hike, they only resorted to black badge protest and did not stall power generation", she said.

According to sources close to her, she would be tendering her resignation tomorrow and PWD Minister C M Udasi was expected to join her in quitting the Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar led ministry.

Outlining the achievements of the BJP government, Shobha said the government had honoured its promise of augmenting power supply by adding 4593 mws of energy into state's grid.

Kudgi super thermal power with 4,000 mw capacity, Edlapur (800 MW), Erramarus (1600 MW), Bidadi (700 MW), Bellary Thermal Power station (700 MW) and 4000 MW Chattisgarh plant are in the pipeline and when completed turn Karnataka not only a power surplus, but would be in a position to sell energy to neighbouring states, she said.

She said adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure that there would be no load shedding in the coming summer season. The government has spent Rs 12,000 crore on improving power transmission system, which helped in reducing transmission and distribution losses from 23 per cent to 20 per cent.

Udasi, when reporters approached him, said "we will announce tomorrow every thing at a press conference". The veteran leader from Haveri district, who has identified with KJP, refused to answer queries on whether he would also be resigning his assembly membership.

In another development, Yeddyurappa has invited Ministers and MLAs supporting him to his residence for a meeting this Evening. Speculations are also ripe that some MLAs will alsO be resigning tomorrow.

Shobha, Udasi quit ministry; give jolt to BJP government


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