Bengaluru, April 7 (IANS) Karnataka Rural Development Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, who sparked controversy after writing to Governor Vajubha R. Vala on Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s alleged interference in his department’s affairs, on Wednesday defended himself, saying that his action cannot be termed “anti-party activity” as he only sought “clarifications” from an expert who has presented 18 budgets in Gujarat.
Since when has writing letters to senior leaders and the Governor become a cause for complaint, he said, in a media interaction.
“I have written letters to my party leaders including BJP national General Secretary, C.T. Ravi and also met the Governor seeking clarification. Where did I go wrong in this? Writing letters to leaders is being interpreted as a complaint by you (media) and not by me,” he retorted in response to a question.
Eshwarappa said that he had gone to get clarification from Governor Vala, who has a long experience of 17-18 years as the Finance Minister of Gujarat. “There too I had gone to get clarification, not to complain. Neither have I given, nor I will give any complaint,” he said.
Rebuffing speculations about a change in Chief Minister, Eshwarappa said that Yediyurappa was his leader but his loyalty to the party was paramount.
“I am a diehard BJP man. I will remain in BJP come what may. I will not quit irrespective of the party’s decisions. I am loyal to my party and committed to its ideology. If my party expects something from me, I will do it without batting my eyelid,” he said.
Answering to a question, the minister maintained that he has never publicly criticised the CM till this moment. “Where is the indiscipline? Have I criticised the CM in public, Have I ever complained publicly against him? I have not done anything of this sort. So, how can it amount to an act of indiscipline,” he shot back.
Asked about his letters to party leaders like Ravi, he countered: “Aren’t they our party leaders? What do you think, should I write letters to JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda or state Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar, instead of writing letters to our party leaders.”
Clarifying that he has only brought these things to the notice of leaders who are part of the BJP and not outsiders, he said that in his letter, he was not seeking any action against Yediyurappa.
The same letter was also written to the Chief Minister expressing same concerns, he added.
Last week, Eshwarappa wrote a five page letter to the Governor listing out three instances like the Chief Minister sanctioning huge funds on the request of MLAs to the tune of Rs 774 crore under the RDPR Department ignoring him, while works worth Rs 460 crore were sanctioned by bypassing him.
This had kicked off a political storm with the Congress lashing out at the BJP and Yediyurappa on various forums including social media.