Bangalore: Karnataka Gove-rnor H.R. Bhardwaj on January 21 accorded sanction to prosecute Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over allegations of denotification of land acquired by the government, apart from other charges. The prosecution request was made by two advocates.
Yeddyurappa is the first Chief Minister of the state against whom a Governor has accorded sanction for prosecution. He is the 25th Chief Minister of the state and the 18th person to occupy the high office.
Karnataka will thus join states such as Tamil Nadu and Bihar where Chief Ministers were prosecuted after people obtained the requisite permission of Governors M. Channa Reddy and A.R. Kidwai.
Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party said: “There is no question of the Chief Minister quitting. We will take the battle against the Governor to the streets. An all-out effort was made to convince the Governor that there is no prima facie case and that several agencies are already investigating the matter and that prosecution is not warranted. Now that the Governor has announced his decision, we will fight it legally and politically.”
There is no information on the Governor’s stand with reference to the request for sanction to prosecute Home Minister R. Ashok.
A brief communiqué from the Raj Bhavan said, “The petition given by two advocates of Bangalore Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj on December 28, requesting sanction of the Governor of Karnataka under Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for prosecuting the Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, in an appropriate Court of Law for various grave allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct, has been considered by the Governor and he has granted the sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister by an order passed by him this evening.”
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar, who was closeted with the Chief Minister soon after the Governor’s decision, said, “Our stand is vindicated. The Governor has prejudged the case, and we will now move the court and fight it to the last. There is no question of bending.”
Earlier in the day, the Governor, in a letter to the Chief Minister, said the Cabinet resolution of January 19 was “unwarranted.”
The stand-off between the two hit a new low on Thursday when the former compared the resolution of the Council of Ministers to a thief admonishing the police.