After Guv announcement, Yeddy convenes emergent cabinet meet

Bangalore, Jan 18 (PTI) In a sudden development, B SYeddyurappa today convened an emergent meeting of KarnatakaCabinet tomorrow, shortly after Governor H R Bhardwaj said heis looking into a petition seeking permission to prosecute thechief minister over alleged land scams.

The Cabinet is meeting for the second time within 24hours, but the Chief Minister''s Secretariat sources weretight-lipped over the development that came even asYeddyurappa rushed to Delhi for consultations with BJP centralleadership.

After presiding over a Cabinet meeting, Yeddyurappaleft for Delhi on the unscheduled trip hours after Bhardwajsaid he was studying a request by a lawyers forum seekingpermission to prosecute the chief minister and Home Minister RAshok in alleged land scams.

Sources close to Yeddyurappa said he is likely toconsult senior party leader Arun Jaitley and some otherleading advocates on the course of action to be taken in theevent of the governor giving permission to prosecute him.

A former union law minister, Bhardwaj, ever sinceassuming the office, has not let any opportunity to go to takebarbs at the BJP government in public, inviting the wrath ofthe ruling party leaders who have called him a Congress agentwhose conduct was unbecoming of the constitutional post heholds.

In his recent attack, Bhardwaj had said he was willingto give a list of corrupt ministers to whoever approached him.

The sources said that at tomorrow''s Cabinet meetingYeddyurappa was likely to brief his colleagues on his talkswith party high command on the moves by Bhardwaj. The meetingwas also expected to decide the future course of action in theevent of the governor giving his nod for the prosecution.

The chief minister, the sources said, is apprehensivethat that the governor might give his approval anytime.

Earlier, irked by the Opposition leaders frequentmeetings with the governor, Yeddyurappa dared former PrimeMinister H D Deve Gowda and his son H D Kumaraswamy, who havebeen spearheading the oust-Yeddyurappa campaign, to come for apublic debate on the allegations of corruption against him.

"I am ready to organise this debate in the banquethall of the Vidhana Soudha (State Secretariat). Let there be ateam of jury comprising retired judges. Let Gowda and his sonhave their say. I will also reply to the charges," he said.


Speaking to reporters, Bhardwaj said he was considering the petition for prosecution filed by ''JusticeLawyers Forum''.

"There are so many angles. It is a very ticklishissue. It is a very difficult thing. I have to study andcomplete it. There are various issues... whether I am legallycompetent to deal with it, secondly on merits... there are somany documents. All this will have to be studied and decisionwill then be taken without delay," he said.

Yeddyurappa has been facing heat from the Oppositionto quit over allegations of illegal denotification of land andfavouritism and nepotism.

On the warpath against the BJP''s first ever governmentin the south, Opposition Congress and JDS have been repeatedlyputting pressure on the governor to dismiss the Yeddyurappaministry on issue of alleged corruption.

On the proposed BJP delegation to Delhi to demand hisrecall, the governor said, "Everybody has the right to saywhat they like. There is freedom of speech. They are entitledto say what they want.I have no problems at this stage to goanywhere. So long as I am here I will do my duty," he said.


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