I keep informing Yeddyurappa on various issues: Former Karnataka minister

January 5th, 2010 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Arun Anand
New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Former Karnataka minister Shobha Karandlaje who had to quit the ministry following a revolt in the state’s first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, says the political battle which led to her resignation has not affected her political fortunes as she remains in close touch with the chief minister and reports to him on various issues.

The former panchayati raj and rural development minister, who is considered to be close to Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, told IANS: “I had thought after stepping down that probably I would not get that much response from people or party workers as I was not a minister anymore, but I was amazed to see the response. In fact, my workers are much happier now as I can devote more time to my constituency and meet them more frequently.”

She had to quit last November after party rebels alleged excessive interference in the administration by her. Karandlaje’s removal was part of a compromise formula to end the crisis in the BJP’s first government in the south.

The lawmaker from Yeshwantapur assembly constituency said: “I am reporting to the chief minister on various issues. Wherever I go and see a problem I inform the CM who has been initiating steps to resolve them.”

“I am an RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) worker. Thus I have no dearth of courage and commitment,” she said.

“What gives me satisfaction is that even several senior opposition leaders appreciated me for the work I had done as rural development minister during my one and a half year tenure.”

Karandlaje said: “I am much happier and more contented (after stepping down as minister). I am travelling across the state to meet party workers and work for the poor and the margianlised whose voices are not heard often.”

Karandlaje Tuesday met BJP president Nitin Gadkari for about half an hour and explained the circumstances that had forced Yeddyurappa to ask her to resign in a bid to placate dissidents in November 2009.

She reportedly told the BJP president that she was not keen to hold a party post and was busy working in areas ravaged by floods last year, BJP sources said.

“There are many people who lost everything in the floods last year, they need to be rehabilitated. I have been visiting the flood affected areas, identifying people who haven’t got compensation and trying to help them out.

“I also went to the Naxal (Maoist) affected areas in Shimoga district and stayed there for three days. The socio-economic conditions of villagers there is pathetic, I gave a report to the chief minister about them. The CM has initiated some measures for them and asked senior officials to visit the area and take stock of the situation,” she said.

“I did what I could do as a minister in the government. But it doesn’t matter whether I am a minister or not. It doesn’t affect my work. I would continue to travel across the state, meet more and more people and BJP workers,” she added.

Karandlaje rose in the party ranks after being active in RSS and the party’s student wing Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishath (ABVP). She was also general secretary of the party’s state unit and was elected to legislative council for the first time in 2004.

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