Karnataka ready for mid-term polls?

BS Yeddyurappa is in no mood to let go of CM’s post. He would rather face midterm polls by dissolving legislature, while Santosh Hegde is likely to submit his report on illegal mining case on Tuesday

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Karnataka ready for mid-term polls?

The Lok Ayukta report indicting chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and senior ministers in his cabinet may either see him continuing in his post undeterred or dissolving the legislature to call for midterm elections. Yeddyurappa’s approach now seems to be this: either the BJP loses Karnataka and its only foothold in South India or he continues on a fresh mandate or through maintaining status quo if it is conducive; but he is not willing to let a change in leadership from within the party state unit.

Sources among BJP national leadership in Delhi confirmed to DNA on Sunday that Yeddyurappa was adamant against handing over power to anyone else in his party’s state unit.

Yeddyurappa, scheduled to return to India in the early hours today from Mauritius, will not go to New Delhi — he will instead go directly to Bangalore to hold meetings with state BJP leaders. As a last resort, if push comes to shove, Yeddyurappa is most likely to call for midterm polls after dissolving the legislature, sources said.

This is despite Yeddyurappa’s statement that if he must step down as chief minister, his son BY Raghavendra, or his close confidante and energy minister, Shobha Karandlaje, is given the top post. The sources said Yeddyurappa has told the party high command that he cannot be sacked merely based on the Lok Ayukta report indicting him and his colleagues; especially in the absence of an opportunity to prove his innocence.

Though there was a move being initiated at sacking Yeddyurappa from the CM’s post earlier in the day, it now appears that the party national leadership has decided it would be wiser to allow midterm elections as his removal could lead to the party losing its only foothold in South India.

This means, the party high command is likely to go with Yeddyurappa’s choice of dissolving the state legislature and calling for midterm polls hoping for a fresh mandate riding on a sympathy wave, but only as a last resort.

Several senior BJP leaders are not in favour of Yeddyurappa continuing at the helm. BJP national secretary and MP, HN Ananthkumar, who is heading the ‘anti- BSY’ campaign, met rural development and Panchayat Raj minister, Jagadeesh Shettar, in Bangalore to hold discussions on intensifying campaigns to oust Yeddyurappa.

We’re mining corruption with minerals, says CJI
Chief justice of India SH Kapadia on Sunday said minerals excavated either by private sector companies or government undertakings must be auctioned to eliminate rampant corruption in the mining sector.

Speaking at a seminar on environment where PM Manmohan Singh delivered the valedictory address, Kapadia added that the malaise of illegal mining and cancerous corruption can be dealt with by setting up a statutory regulatory body and striking off the time-old royalty system.

Justice Kapadia said there was under-invoicing in the prices of extracted minerals and it was sold abroad for a huge margin.
He said that norms concerning mining were there but these were being flouted at the state level.

“All norms and mining plans are there, but at the state level, they are being flouted for some reasons. We do not have machinery to supervise even mining plans for environmental protection. There is a biggest problem of pricing. Time has come when excavated minerals should be judged, auctioned or should have price determining mechanism,” he said.

“There aren’t loopholes in law; there are loopholes in our characters,” he added.

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