Santosh Lad quits, Opposition loses trump card

With this, the strength of the 30-member council of ministers has come down to 29.

Bengaluru: With the resignation of minister Santosh Lad on Friday, the illegal mining scam which brought disrepute to the BJP in 2011, has claimed its first victim in the ruling Congress six months after the party routed the BJP.

Lad, who held the infrastructure and information portfolio, held parleys with the Chief Minister Friday afternoon and later with KPCC president Dr G. Parameshwar, drove down to the Chief Minister’s residence and finally submitted his resignation at 8 pm. With this, the strength of the 30-member council of ministers has come down to 29. Emerging from the chief minister’s residence, Lad said, “I was not under pressure. I voluntarily deci­ded to resign to save the party embarrassment. I hope this will ensure smooth functioning of the legislature session at Belgaum. I felt this controversy was not a subject fit to be discussed in the session.”

Siddaramaiah was not available for comment. However, KPCC president Dr G. Parameshwar told Dec­can Chronicle that the party decided to sacrifice Lad to redeem its image. “I admit that not only the CM, I too had defended him in the past. We took this decision keeping the Lok Sabha elections and the legislature session in mind,” he said.

The opposition reacted immediately to the resignation with JD (S) leader, H.D. Kumaraswamy saying the­re was a conspiracy within the Congress. “There was pressure on the CM to expand the cabinet. To prevent this, Siddaramaiah adopted the strategy and made Lad quit. The CM was also worried over the embarrassment he would face at the Belgaum session,” Kumaraswamy said.

BJP spokesperson, Suresh Kumar said this proved the Congress' invol­vement in illegal mining. "I feel sorry for young Lad. But, in public life, when such allegations are made, one has to follow this route. If he is innocent, let him come clean and return to the cabinet," Mr Kumar said.

( Source : dc )
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