BJP plans state-wide stir against Santosh Lad; governor says CM should decide
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Sep 30: Even as the State BJP announced its decision to launch a State-wide agitation against Karnataka’s Information and Infrastructure Development Minister Santosh Lad from the Siddaramaiah cabinet, Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj asserted on Monday that the decision to drop or not was left to the discretion of the Chief Minister.
The BJP legislators and MPs staged a dharna in front of Vidhana Soudha on Monday against Lad over the allegations that his company was involved in illegal mining.
The protesting saffron leaders warned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah that he himself may have to quit later following public pressure if he failed to honour the public demand for sacking Lad from the cabinet.
The Governor, who spoke to reporters after a workshop on healthcare for senior citizens here, said he had received representations seeking directions to the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to drop Lad from the cabinet and the same have been forwarded to the Chief Minister for suitable decision.
The BJP leaders, who staged the dharna in front of Vidhana Soudha, urged Siddaramaiah to walk the talk of acting tough against illegal mining.
They took serious exception to Siddaramaiah defending Lad and maintaining that there was no evidence to prove his involvement in illegal mining.
“He is speaking like an ordinary person, who does not have access to documents,” said former BJP chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who added: ``Let him verify the state government’s own notification, which cancelled the license issued to Lad’s firm for indulging in illegal mining.”
Former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa said: “We have already given the documents in support of the allegations against Lad to the Governor. If Siddaramaiah still claims that there is no proof, then either the governor has not passed on the documents to him or the relationship between the two has soured.”
In any case, there was no question any let-down in the campaign against Santosh Lad, Eshwarappa said.
He declared that the party was ready to give the documents in support of the charges of illegal mining against Lad to the chief minister at whatever place and time he wanted to receive.
Former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda alleged that Siddaramaiah was using the excuse of lack of evidence as an alibi to protect Lad.
This has exposed his claims of not including tainted personalities in the ministry and the Congress’ padayatra to Bellary against illegal mining, he said.