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10 lakh farmers in K’taka to get loans of Rs 10,000 each

News4u - News Desk : Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday said 10 lakh small and medium farmers in the state could avail loans of Rs 10,000 each starting from April 1.

The farmers, including 2.50 lakh from Scheduled Caste and 1 lakh from Scheduled Tribe category, will have to fill a application form with their photographs and land ownership records and submit it to the respective deputy commissioners before April, he said.

The government would deposit Rs 5,000 in the account of each applicant and the balance would be released after confirming the crops developed by farmers at their fields, he said.

“This initiative is targeted at enabling farmers strengthen their farming activities,” Yeddyurappa said.

Expressing concern over depletion of groundwater table all over Karnataka, the chief minister said the government has decided to accord Rs five crore each to all Assembly constituencies to tackle the problem.

Officials have been directed to take steps to desilt all tanks to enable storage of sufficient waster in the rainy season to strengthen the groundwater table, he said.

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HC dismisses five K’taka MLAs’ plea on disqualification

News4u-News Desk- In a shot in the arm for B S Yeddyurappa govt, the K’taka High Court upheld the Speaker’s order disqualifying five independent MLAs, who had withdrawn support to the ruling BJP, from the assembly membership on the eve of 11th Oct trust vote which it won.

Dismissing petitions filed by the five MLAs challenging their disqualification by Speaker K G Bopaiah, a full bench of the court on Monday pronounced the verdict which held that the 10th October order is not in violation of constitutional mandate nor is there any infirmity based on malafides or perversity.

The Speaker had disqualified 16 MLAs — 11 from BJP and five Independents — under anti-defection law before Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa won a vote a confidence on the floor of the Assembly, passing a concurrent order on separate petitions seeking their disqualification.

The petitions had been filed by BJP MLAs C T Ravi and D N Jevaraj and a voter each from five constituencies from where the five were elected.

The bench, comprising Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice A S Bopanna, held that the petitions filed by the five voters are “maintainable”.

The five MLAs — Gulihatti D Shekar, Venkataramanappa, P M Narendraswamy, D Sudhakar and Shivaraj Thangadagi — prayed for quashing the Speaker’s order as “illegal, void and not enforceable” on the ground that they were not BJP members.

But the BJP had maintained that they had joined it and attended its legislature party meetings.

BJP exults in HC decision on disqualification of MLAs

Exulting in High Court decision upholding the Karnataka Assembly Speaker’s ruling to disqualify five independent MLAs, the BJP has said it was a victory over the “unholy” alliance of Congress and JD(S).

“The action of honorary Speaker is vindicated by this decision of the High Court. Law has prevailed and justice has been done. This is a victory of sorts against the unholy alliance of the Congress and JD(S) which has miserably failed in destabilising the government,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in New Delhi on Monday.

The Karnataka High Court upheld Speaker K G Bopaiah’s decision disqualifying five independent MLAs who withdrew support to the BJP government in the state ahead of the 11thOctober trust vote which Yeddyurappa won.

The disqualified MLAs had maintained that they were ‘Independent’ so the anti-defection law did not apply to them but the BJP insisted that they had joined it and attended its legislature party meetings.

Along with these five independents, 11 BJP MLAs had also voted against the Yeddyurappa government. They were also suspended by the Speaker.

KARNATAKA HC

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Karnataka Governor hits out at Yeddyurappa govt

News4u - News Desk : Renewing his attack on the BJP government in Karnataka, Governor H R Bhardwaj today charged it with having “failed” to check illegal mining and demanded that Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa reply to his recent letters on illegal mining and alleged land scams.

“Illegal mining is still continuing. No action is taken by the government here,” Bhardwaj, who wrote to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa two days ago seeking a report on the issue, told reporters here.

Bhardwaj expressed happiness over the Andhra Pradesh High Court vacating stay on CBI probe into allegations of illegal mining in that state and described it as a “good development”.

Tourism Minister and mining magnate G Janardhana Reddy had earlier secured a stay on CBI investigations after Andhra government ordered probe into illegal mining by firms, including Obulapuram Mining Corporation, owned by Reddy. PTI

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IT raids on biz premises of seven Karnataka MLAs

News4u-News Desk-Income Tax officials on Monday conducted raids at around 60 places in Karnataka, targeting seven ruling BJP MLAs, including ministers G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy.

IT raids were conducted at 60 to 65 places, mainly concentrating in Bangalore and Bellary whose action comes amidst allegations of horse-trading by both BJP and opposition.

Business premises of seven legislators, including mining magnates Reddy brothers and their close associate and minister B Sriramulu were raided.

Some mining companies were also raided by IT department.

Besides Bangalore and Bellary, raids were also conducted in Hospet.

Both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress and JD-S have been trading charges of horse-trading to poach on their respective MLAs.

The Opposition has lost four MLAs, who have resigned their Assembly membership, which the Congress and JD-S have alleged was an attempt by the BJP to shore up its numbers in the 224-member Assembly.

11 BJP MLAs had rebelled against the Yeddyurappa Government and withdrawn their support as also five independent legislators who have all been disqualified by the Speaker.

The political crisis saw Yeddyurappa face the trial of strength in the Assembly twice.

The first vote of confidence carried by voice vote was rejected by Governor H R Bhardwaj, who called it unconstitutional before giving another opportunity to Yeddyurappa to demonstrate his strength.

In the second floor test, Yeddyurappa government sailed through with 106 votes in its favour and 100 against in the House with an effective strength of 208.

However, the Karnatka High Court, hearing petitions challenging the disqualification of the MLAs, had said the trust vote outcome was subject to its verdict on the petitions by the independents.

A third judge, to whom the matter was referred after a split verdict by a two-member division bench, has reserved his orders on the plea by 11 rebel BJP MLAs while the hearing on the independent MLAs petitions has been adjourned to 2nd November.

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Karnataka crisis: Tax officials raid Reddy brothers’ aides

News4u-Business Desk-NYT-BANGALORE: Income tax officials Monday raided the office of Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu, a confidant of the Reddy brothers, the residence of an advocate and the houses of a few Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators in Karnataka, officials said.

“We are conducting raids in Bangalore, Bellary and Hospet. It is a search operation,” a spokesperson of the IT department said. No further details were available.

Bellary is the political stronghold of the Reddy brothers - Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy and his elder brother and Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy.

The Reddys are rich iron ore miners. Sriramulu is considered by them to be a part of their family. Hospet is near Bellary.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said he had no information about the raids. “I have no information on it and will not comment,” he said in Haveri in north Karnataka.

The BJP legislators whose residences were raided are Suresh Babu and B. Nagendra, both said to be close to the Reddys.

Former union minister and Karnataka government’s special representative in New Delhi, V Dhananjaya Kumar, termed the raids a “political conspiracy” to destabilize the BJP ministry in the state.

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K’taka issue: HC reserves orders on rebel BJP MLAs’ case

News4u-News Desk-The Karnataka High Court on Thursday reserved its orders on petitions filed by 11 rebel BJP MLA’s challenging their disqualification, prolonging the suspense in the legal battle with a bearing on the B S Yeddyurappa government.

Judge V G Sabhahit heard the arguments from the counsels of the petitioners and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa during the two-day hearing which concluded on Thursday.

On Monday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N Kumar referred the case to the third judge, Justice Sabhahit, after a split verdict.

The Chief Justice had upheld the Speaker K G Bopaiah’s order disqualifying the 11 BJP rebels, while Justice Kumar set it aside.

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee and Satyapal Jain, counsels for Yeddyurappa, Thursday argued that Bopaiah not only relied on 6th October letter of the 11 MLA’s withdrawing support to the government but also on their conduct.

The counsel submitted that the Speaker’s order on 10th October is “not perverse at all”.

The 11 legislators have not denied the Speaker’s statements with regard to their entering into negotiations with other political parties, Sorabjee contended.

“None of the (Speaker’s) statements have been assailed or contested”.

He sought to reject the argument of the 11 MLA’s that they only wanted the chief minister’s removal and that they are ready to support BJP government headed by anybody other than Yeddyurappa.

On the MLAs’ letter withdrawing support to the government led by Yeddyurappa, Sorabjee argued it was enough to mention only the government, “There is no need to mention that it’s headed by so and so, which is only descriptive.”

He underlined that what’s important is the state government.

“Headed has no meaning. It does not make a difference who is heading. Heading is so meaningless.”

Jain said the petitioners never challenged “any findings recorded by the Speaker” on the disqualification.

Later speaking to reporters, Law Minister Suresh Kumar said, “The arguments took place in a congenial manner and all the parties have been heard.”

To a query, he said, “After observing the court proceedings for two days, we are confident about the outcome of the judgement. Since it (judgement) has been reserved, we have to wait for it,” he said.

Describing it as a “landmark case”, Kumar said, “Many legal issued are involved. We are confident that the judgement would take into account all gamuts of law.”

To a question on the various grievances and allegations made by the rebel MLAs, Kumar said, “They did not choose to speak about this to any of the leaders in the party, instead they chose to speak to the governor. Raj Bhavan is not the proper forum to ask for change in leadership. This shows that they have dissociated themselves from the party.”

Denying any “instability” in the government, he asserted “there is stability in the government” and it would carry forward the development works of the state.

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Rain toll rises to 13 in Karnataka

News4u-News Desk-Bangalore, The toll in rain related incidents in the state in past one week rose to 13 with three more deaths being reported today.

Three persons — two in Bellary and one in Raichur — died in house collapses due to heavy rains, revenue officials told PTI.

Two women were washed away in flash floods in Chincholi taluk in Gulbarga district last night. Bellary district accounted for the highest fatalities of four, followed by Gulbarga (3) and Dharwad, Shimoga, Raichur, Tumkur, Koppal and Bangalore one each so far, they said.

According to preliminary estimates, the total loss of property in the past one week was Rs 104.64 crore.

While crops in 16,611 hectares of land have been destroyed, flash floods have resulted in damages to 3,269 houses across the state including 2,236 in Bellary.

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Karnataka for ban on iron ore exports

News4u - News Desk : (PTI) In the midst of the illegal mining controversy, Karnataka today urged the Centre to ban export of iron ore and find ways to create value addition for natural resources within the country.

Raising the issue of illegal mining at the National Development Council meeting, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said despite efforts by various state governments, these problems were persisting across the states.

“A major reason is the indiscriminate export of iron ore and other such minerals. Unless certain curbs are placed on export of iron ore, etc. undue exploitation and illegal mining are likely to continue,” he said.

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Maha CM wants disputed Karna areas as UT, Sena supports

News4u - News Desk :  (PTI) The border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka over Belgaum hotted up today with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan demanding that the Centre declare Marathi speaking villages in Karnataka as a Union Territory till a court decision and Shiv Sena backing the demand.

The demand came even as government buses of Maharashtra and Karnataka continued to be targeted over the vexed Belgaum issue, forcing the authorities to stop inter-state services for 48 hours.

“The 865 Marathi speaking villages in Karnataka should be declared as Union Territory until the issue is settled in the Supreme Court,” Chavan told the Legislative Council during a discussion on Maharashtra-Karnataka border row.

Chavan, who would be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow in Delhi with an all-party delegation, said he would make the request to him

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan

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Nobody has license to indulge in corruption: Karna Gov

News4u - News Desk : With Karnataka Assembly continuing to be rocked over the alleged illegal mining issue, state Governor H R Bharadwaj has said nobody can be given license to indulge in corruption and that he would not shirk from his responsibilities.

“You can’t have corruption. Nobody can be given license to do corruption,” he told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday after a breakfast meeting with President Pratibha Patil during which he is believed to have discussed the political situation in the state.

Without taking anybody’s name, the Governor said the issues involved the integrity and probity of those in high offices.

“I have addressed the issue to the chief minister. I have told him you have appointed the ministers and you should take action. He says I need time. He doesn’t say it is not happening,” Bharadwaj said.

When reporters raised the issue of Reddy brothers and illegal mining, Bharadwaj said it was a big issue and he has already referred the issue (disqualification of the brothers) to the Election Commission for a decision.

He said an inquiry by CBI or some other agency should be held. “I respect Santosh Hegde (Karnataka Lokayukta). Lokpal is there but… no work. I have to see that rule of law should prevail.”

The Governor said he sends regular reports to the Central government and has kept the Home Minister informed.

“I am a Governor. I know my responsibilities. I will not shirk from my responsibilities. Whatever the people feel I also feel,” he said, adding in certain areas he cannot take action but only the chief minister can do.

Bhardwaj said that he has taken serious note of the political happenings in the state and has informed the chief minister about his concerns as well as the Central government.

He would be meeting Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday to apprise him of the latest situation in the state.

Replying to a question on the law and order situation in the state, he said there was no problem on that front as Karnataka is a peaceful state.

“But this is only a controversy regarding four-five ministers who are indulging in illegal mining and making huge profits”, the Governor said.

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