|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Karnataka: Discord in JD(S)-BJP ministry
January 01, 2007 18:59 IST
In the first open dissonance in the Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party ministry in Karnataka, Wakf Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan on Monday announced he would step down from his post after being upset over Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy not attending Id prayers, and alleging "neglect" of minorities.
"I will submit my resignation tomorrow," Khan, a one-time close associate of Kumaraswamy, told PTI as he gave vent to his displeasure that the chief minister did not take part in Bakri Id prayers at Chamrajpet in Bangalaore despite his invitation.
"How can I continue in the ministry when the minorities are neglected?" asked Khan, becoming the first minister to strike a discordant note ever since the JD(S)-BJP ministry came to power in February last year.
Seeking to play down the issue, Kumaraswamy described Khan's announcement as an "emotional outburst" and said he would speak to him and sort out the matter.
Kumaraswamy said he could not attend the Id prayers at Chamrajpet because he was preoccupied with "private programmes" and had no official engagements on Monday.
The JD(S)-BJP government, he said, had shown its deep commitment to the minorities' welfare by increasing four-fold the allocation for their welfare programmes in the state budget.
Khan, a transporter who was prominently associated with the political coup that saw the collapse of JD(S)-Congress ministry and installation of BJP-JD(S) government, had been lying low in recent months, apparently sulking over the portfolio issue.
Khan's announcement also comes four days ahead of a meeting of JD(S) legislators for a stock-taking exercise relating to party and government affairs at an undisclosed venue.