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Revanna's statement ends deadlock

Special Correspondent

BJP withdraws protest; normal business resumed in Legislative Assembly

BANGALORE: The coalition Government on Monday managed to extricate itself from the crisis it had run into following allegations levelled by two Ministers against a Cabinet colleague and the Congress leaders respectively.

The way out of the crisis was provided by the statements made by the Minister for Public Works and Energy, H.D. Revanna, who was at the receiving end of allegations levelled by the Information Minister, B. Shivaram, who belongs to the Congress, and the Horticulture Minister, R. Srinivas, who had hit out against the Congress leaders. The main Opposition in the two Houses of the legislature, the BJP, which had stalled the proceedings for three days, withdrew the protest and returned to normal legislative work. The BJP, which was earlier demanding the resignation of either Mr. Revanna or Mr. Shivaram and a statement from Mr. Srinivas later relented and only insisted on statements. Both Mr. Shivaram and Mr. Srinivas had provided enough ammunition to the BJP to attack the Government.

Charge refuted

In the Assembly, Mr. Revanna refuted the charges of corruption in the settlement of pending bills in the Public Works and Energy departments and asserted that there is complete transparency in the functioning in the two departments.

His statement was followed soon after by that of Mr. Srinivas who denied having levelled charges against the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, or any legislator on the Floor of the House. There is thus no need for any member to be perturbed over his statement made on a political platform in Kolar district. "All that I stated was against the Congress MP, R.L. Jalappa, since he had made serious charges against our leader. I have not levelled charges against him in my individual capacity but as a partyman, and it is a political statement."

The BJP members led by the Leader of the Opposition, B.S. Yediyurappa, who have been staging a dharna in the well of the House demanding an inquiry into the charges levelled by the Information Minister against the Public Works Minister staged a walkout soon after the statements. They expressed their displeasure that the Government has not initiated an inquiry into the charges. Normal business in the two Houses which had been stalled for three days, however, resumed after the lunch recess. In his statement, Mr. Revanna said soon after his return to Bangalore early on Monday from a tour of the United States, he held a meeting with senior officials of the departments to ascertain the details of the pending bills and the system of settling the dues.

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