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Yeddyurappa shunts out official; dissidents unimpressed
Published on 6 Nov. 2009 11:40 PM IST
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Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Friday shunted out his principal secretary to buy peace with dissident ministers and legislators but they remained firm on the demand for his removal. V.P. Baligar, a 1980-batch Karnataka cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was transferred as principal secretary Industry and Commerce department. Yeddyurappa appointed I.S.N. Prasad, a 1986-batch IAS officer, as his secretary. Baligar’s removal was one of the demands of the dissidents led by Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and his elder brother Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy till they upped the ante in October last week for the sack of Yeddyurappa himself. After a fourth round of talks with senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, Janardhana Reddy told reporters in New Delhi that there was no change in their demand for replacing Yeddyurappa with “better leadership”. “I have been here for four days now conveying our views to the central leadership. Today also I will convey the same views (replacing Yeddyurappa) to our leaders,” Janardhana Reddy asserted. He again rebuffed attempts by the central leaders to arrange meeting between him and Yeddyurappa. “Again and again and again I am telling you, I am not going to meet him,” Janardhana Reddy said. Notwithstanding this, Yeddyurappa, who has been in Delhi since Wednesday talking to central leaders to find a solution the crisis that entered 12th day Friday, said he was still hopeful of a meeting with the dissident leader. Yeddyurappa also indicated that he was willing to make changes in his cabinet as the dissidents have been seeking sacking of the lone woman minister Shobha Karandlaje who holds Rural Development and Panchayati Raj portfolio and Home Minister V.S. Acharya. “I am 101 percent confident that the issue will be resolved,” Yeddyurappa told reporters in New Delhi. However, according to a source in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the issue is far from being resolved. “They (dissidents) are still not happy and want chief minister’s removal. Many of the MLAs (members of legislative assembly) with the Reddy brothers have sent their resignation to them. The duo reportedly have resignation letters of more than 50 party legislators,” the source said. The Reddys, billionaire iron ore mine owners from Bellary district, claim support of around 70 legislators, including some Independents who are also ministers. The BJP has 117 legislators and is supported by six Independents, five of whom are ministers. Most of the legislators supporting Reddy brothers have been staying in a star hotel in Hyderabad for more than a week now.

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