Bengaluru: A day after Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa complained about the “high-handedness” of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, top ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol and Home Minister Basvaraj Bommai, on Thursday came out in full support of Yediyurappa.
In a letter to Governor Vajubhai R. Vala on Wednesday, Eshwarappa had accused Yediyurappa of running the administration in an “authoritarian manner”, and charged him with making allocations worth Rs 774 crore from his department while bypassing him.
Karjol said that it was not right on the part of any ruling party member to express displeasure in this manner.
“Yediyurappa is not CM but he is also Finance Minister, and hence he has all the prerogative of allocating funds to people who come to him. This is first time, in the state, such a thing of writing letter to the Governor has taken place,” he said.
Bommai said that one must be aware that the Chief Minister is a “supreme decision maker” and his decision must be respected. “He, being a Finance Minister, he also enjoys certain privileges of allotting funds under his discretionary powers. He may have exercised it. These differences could have been sorted out well within the four walls of the party or the cabinet forum itself,” he said.
Health Minister K. Sudhakar admitted that the letter by Eshwarappa was “an embarrassment”.
“We can not deny that it has embarrassed us. Both are contemporaries. They have started their political journey almost at the same time and worked together. They have tasted victories and defeats at the same time. I think this will get resolved soon,” he said.
Revenue Minister R. Ashoka said that one must realise that the CM has the prerogative of whom to induct and drop from his cabinet. “This being the bedrock of a functioning system, how can any of us (ministers or MLAs) object to release of funds? Eshwarappa should not have adopted this route to air his grievances like this, instead he could have tried to raise it in our party forum,” he said.
CM’s close aide and political secretary, M. P. Renukacharya sought to turn the table on Eshwarappa, alleging that it was due to Eshwarappa’s decisions like forming Sangolli Rayanna Brigade ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls, that resulted in defeat of party candidates in not less than 40 seats.
“Eshwarappa is responsible for restricting the party’s winning streak to 100 seats. Yediyurappa toiled hard to keep the flock together, but Eshwarappa doesn’t seems to like it, therefore, he is making such statements,” he alleged.