Bangalore, Nov 15, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the people of Karnataka thought that the Government survived a dissident assault to unseat Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.It looks like that it is only the beginning of the end.
The dissident leader and Tourism and Infrastructure Minister G. Janardhana Reddy is all out to revive the controversial proposal for a high speed rail link (HSRL) from Bangalore city centre to the international airport, 35 km away.The Rs.3,700 crore HSRL had been shot down on cost considerations by a panel set up by Yeddyurappa.
The panel, ABIDe — Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Task Force — favoured a Metro rail link to the airport at Devanahalli.
ABIDe is headed Rajya Sabha MP and businessman Rajeev Chandrasekhar. His appointment to supervise flood relief in north Karnataka was seen by the Reddy brothers as an affront to them.
Janardhana Reddy told reporters Nov 10: “We will issue global tenders (for HSRL) within a week. If all goes well, within a month work will start.”
On Nov 7, Capt. G.R. Gopinath, pioneer of low-cost aviation, was removed as head of another panel set up by Yeddyurappa — Infrastructure Vision Group — without assigning any reason. He had favoured HSRL.
The Reddys continue to get officials of their choice to serve in the districts in which they have influence and in their loyalists’ ministries.
They have already got the deputy commissioners of their liking for Bellary as well as the neighbouring Gadag district, whose affairs are supervised by their loyalist, Health Minister B. Sriramulu.
On Friday, they succeeded in shifting Health Secretary Madan Gopal. He had been posted there by Yeddyurappa Oct 28, at the height of the Reddy brothers’ campaign to remove him, after shunting out I.R. Perumal, who was Sriramulu’s choice.
The Reddys, Yeddyurappa and the state BJP chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda have been making wildly differing statements on whether the crisis has ended and whether there would be a major cabinet reshuffle as part of the compromise worked out by Sushma Swaraj.