Bangalore: Sulking over the denial of a ministerial berth, B Sreeramulu, former minister and a close aide of Reddy brothers, on Sunday announced his resignation from the Karnataka Assembly. (Agencies)
The development, however, is unlikely to have any immediate fallout for the one-month-old cabinet headed by D V Sadananda Gowda.
"My credibility is at stake. Nothing is greater than maintaining my credibility. I am hurt over the Lokayukta report indicting me in illegal mining. But I have not indulged in illegal mining," Sreeramulu told reporters here.
"As per the wishes of my supporters I have decided to quit my assembly membership. I will submit my resignation letter to Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah in Madikeri on Sunday," he said.
Sreeramulu ruled out any threat to the first-ever BJP government in the South, saying, "The government should continue. Sadananda Gowda should complete the five-year-term of the BJP government. There will be no harm to the government."
Sreeramulu, who claims to have the support of 40 BJP MLAs in Bellary, Raichur and Chitradurga, however, rubbished reports that the Bellary brothers -- G Karunakara Reddy and G Janardhana Reddy -- and himself would topple the government.
Gowda had kept the Reddy brothers, who had also been indicted by the Lokayukta report, out of the cabinet. The Reddy brothers had been pitching for the inclusion of Sreeramulu in the state cabinet. Sreeramulu claimed that he and the Reddy brothers were responsible for bringing the first BJP government in the state and also its formation, luring six independents in 2008 after the party could not secure absolute majority.
Even after the resignation by Sreeramulu, the BJP still commands strength of 120 members, besides the backing by an Independent legislator in the 224-member House.
Earlier in the day, BJP General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan, who is also in-charge of party affairs in the state, tried in vain to persuade Sreeramulu not to resign.
Gowda held parleys with senior leaders and ministers after the announcement.
The Reddy brothers kept themselves away from Sreeramulu's press conference. Expressing "deep hurt and pain" at his indictment by the Lokyaukta in its report on illegal mining, Sreeramulu told reporters that the allegations had "dented his self-respect", following which he had decided to resign.
"I am an honest person, an honest worker. I have always accorded top priority to honesty. My indictment by the Lokayukta in its report on illegal mining, has not only dented my self-respect, but also a slur on my blemishless 20-year political career", he said.
Sreeramulu asserted he was not a person "who will run away in the face of allegations. I will take it up as a challenge and face the allegations boldly".
Announcing his decision of undertaking a tour of the State, he said "ultimately it is the people's court that is supreme, it is above all. I will undertake an extensive tour of the State and tell the people about my work and apprise them of the truth".
Taking a swipe at media reports about his "ministerial aspirations being shattered", Sreeramulu who was elected to the State assembly from Bellary Rural (SC) in 2008, said, "I am not a person who will stick to the chair. I have never aspired for any post".
Sreeramulu claimed he and the Reddy brothers were instrumental in making Yeddyurappa the Chief Minister when during the coalition arrangement with JDS, the latter set the condition that if he (Sreeramulu) was inducted in the cabinet, Yeddyurappa would not be made the Chief Minister.
Bangalore: Sulking over the denial of a ministerial berth, B Sreeramulu, former minister and a close aide of Reddy brothers, on Sunday announced his resignation from the Karnataka Assembly.