Jagadish Shettar rubbishes reports of axing minister loyal to Yeddyurappa

Jagadish Shettar

Rejecting reports that he planned to axe Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje, a loyalist of KJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Monday asserted none of his ministerial colleagues would be dropped.

"No minister, including Shobha, will be dropped from the state cabinet. There is no truth in the report," he said amid reports that Karandlaje would face the axe for embarrassing the government with her attack on it over increasing incidents of rape in the state.

Shettar claimed the issue of sacking Karandlaje was not even discussed in the 'Chintan Baithak' (brain-storming session) of party state leaders held on January 5.

Karandlaje had shot off a letter to Shettar voicing concern over the incidents of rape reported from several places in the state in the last two months and indirectly questioned the government on the law and order situation.

Karandlaje is a hardcore supporter of Yeddyurappa and had even hinted at resigning from the ministry to take up an active role in the new party. Shettar had last month sacked Yeddyurappa-loyalist B J Puttaswamy from the ministry.

Brushing aside the threat by Yeddyurappa to topple his ministry so as to prevent him from presenting the BJP government's last budget before Assembly elections due in May, Shettar said nobody should have doubt whether he would present the budget.

Expressing happiness over being proposed by the party as its chief ministerial candidate in the Assembly elections, he said this has brought more responsibility on his shoulders.

Shettar said he would work hard for BJP to retain power. "My government will complete its tenure. It will not fall. It is only Opposition parties' dream that my government will collapse."

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