Karnataka Dy CM mishandled recent bus strike: BJP MP

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Ayanur Ashoka
Bangalore, Sep 18: A BJP member of the Rajya Sabha believes that Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka did not properly handle last week's bus strike in Karnataka.

Ayanur Manjunath said today that Ashoka should have talked to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation staff before they started their indefinite stir on Sep 13. Incidentally, the employees ended their agitation on the second day itself when the government assured to look into their demands. The staff had pressed for a wage hike.

Manjunath alleged that Ashoka who holds the Transport and Home portfolios is taking decisions which will benefit the Janata Dal-Secular especially HD Kumaraswamy. The MP added that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar does not have any control over members of his cabinet.

Manjunath's no holds barred attack on the CM and his deputy is not good news for the ruling party in the state. That the BJP's Karnataka unit is racked by factionalism is well known but so far it was mainly a former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa's frequent salvos which hogged the headlines.

On Sep 16, the BJP strongman hit out at the central leadership and said that he did not need their support to take over the reigns of the state again. Yeddyurappa is of the opinion that Karnataka deserves "a farmers' friendly government".

He said that not only his party, Congress and JD(S) also are against the farmers. When reporters asked about this comment, Shettar replied that it merely indicates Yeddyurappa's concern for ryots.

Earlier Yeddyurappa had bitterly criticised some MLAs for going on a study tour to South America at a time when 146 of the 176 taluks in the state have been declared as drought-hit.

He had pointed out that the MLAs were ex-officio chairpersons of the Task Force created at taluk level to monitor the drought relief work.

Today it was the turn of Revenue Minister KS Eshwarappa to be at the receiving end of the former CM's ire. Yeddyurappa said that Eshwarappa should not continue any longer as the BJP state president.

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