Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RDPR) Minister KS Eshwarappa on Wednesday revolted against Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa as he accused him of interfering in the functioning of his ministry. He wrote a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala and complained of “serious lapses” in the administration, which he said is being run in an “authoritarian way”.
Eshwarappa has also sent a copy of his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda. He alleged that the chief minister bypassed him in allocating Rs 774 crore from his department and the allocations have been biased. The rural development minister said it was a violation of the Karnataka (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1977, and also defied the “established practices and procedures relating to the affairs of the state”.
In a five page letter to the governor, Eshwarappa said that the Chief Minister took decisions in his department by putting pressure on the principal secretary, ignoring the minister in-charge. His letter to the Chief Minister registering his objections to the same was to no avail and hence he was forced to bring the lapses to the governor’s notice, Eshwarappa said in the letter.
“I am forced to approach your kind self and bring it to your notice, these serious lapses and authoritarian way of running the administration by Hon’ble Chief Minister vis-a-vis Cabinet Minister,” he said.
Writing to Arun Singh, member of parliament and BJP general secretary in-charge of the state, Eshwarappa said “In the last one and half year of my tenure as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister I would like to bring to your kind notice that some of the decisions taken by Hon’ble Chief Minister who is heading the Finance Department relating to my department without my knowledge has caused deep resentment as a Senior Minister in the BJP Government.”
“The said actions of the finance department has put me in great embarrassing situation in the eyes of our party MLAs and party workers,” he added.
Once considered close, Eshwarappa and Yediyurappa have not been on good terms since the chief minister inducted new ministers, who defected from the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition, into the state cabinet.
Taking the opportunity to hit out at the state government, Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar said, “A senior BJP Minister has made very serious accusations against CM Yediyurappa in a letter to the Governor. The CM must either immediately submit his resignation or must sack the Minister if the accusations aren’t true.”
“Karnataka’s BJP Government has become a den of corruption,” Shivakumar further said.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala also commented on the situation. “The illegitimate born & Unconstitutionally formed Yediyurappa Govt must now go,OR CM Yediyurappa & his spurious BJP Govt must be sacked! Will PM Modi now show conviction? Will PM show moral fibre to sack CM?” he tweeted.
Here’s the full letter to Arun Singh:
1. In the Budget for 2020-21, para 147, “It is proposed to implement a new “Grameena Sumarga Yojane” for further improvement of rural roads. Under this scheme, 20,000 Kms of rural roads is proposed to be developed in the next 5 years. Rs. 780.00 crores is earmarked in the year 2020-21 for this purpose”, was announced in the budget which intends to develop a minimum of 30 Kms of rural roads in each Legislative Assembly constituency on the lines of PMGSY Guidelines. Even though the department had made all the arrangements for implementation of this programme, Finance Department inspite of repeated requests for the reasons not known. administrative sanction was accorded.
2. The Finance Department failed to provide necessary funds for implementing the Schemes announced in the Budget 2020-21. However, in the last one and half year in the name of Special Gran Rs.1439.25 Crores were sanctioned (excluding Rs.973.80 Crores sanetioned by the previous Government) and recently on 17.02.2021 Finance Department has sanctioned works amounting to Rs.775.00 Crores for 81 Legislative Assembly constituencies, the grants ranging from Rs. 5.00 to Rs. 23.00 Crores. The action of Finance Department, sanctioning large amount of funds for the schemes not included in the Budget will certainly affect in the long run, departmental plans for development (outside the get allocation) works amounting to of rural infrastructure.
3. I have also observed, under the Special Grant Scheme, requests are being made lor taking up mainly road works below Rs. 5.00 lakhs which will not only affect the quality of work but give room for allegations.
My desire to create rural durable assets which lasts for long period and bring improvement in the rural economy is defeated.
4. In case the Finance Department wishes to sanction extra Special Grants for the Rural Development, the correct procedure in my opinion would be, to release the funds to the department which will take appropriate action, both in the selection of works and. also creating quality and durable rural assets. 5. I also request you to go through the Finance Department order dated: 17.02.2021 (enclosed) wherein, grants have been sanctioned to the constituencies headed by other than BJP MLAS and the amount is quite substantial (BJP-32, JDS-18, Congress-30, BSP-1, Total-81 Assembly constituencies). 6. As on date out of Rs.3998.56 Crores sanctioned to the Rural Development Department, so far, only Rs.1600.42 Crores has been released and balance amount be released is huge namely Rs. 2398.18 Crores. It appears that Finance Department is sanctioning huge funds by way of Special Grants ignoring the ongoing departmental schemes and programmes which amounts to mis-management of public resources particularly during the present financial crisis.
The above actions of the Finance Department has put me in great embarrassing situation in the eyes of our Party MLAS and Party Workers who are very critical about the allocation of Special Grants to the constituencies belonging to opposition party MLAS and also they are expressing that adequate grants are not being allocated for the development of their constituencies inspite of having our own party government in the State.
I am bringing all these facts to your kind notice to change the present style of administration in the state keeping in mind the interest of the party and party alone.
Yediyurappa or Eshwarappa were not available to comment on the same.
Last week, JC Madhusamy, minister for minor irrigation raised objections to the way the central government was functioning calling it authoritarian and alleged that there was interference in the state and concurrent subjects, during an event in Mysore.