Brave Karnataka CM agrees to hunt Veerappan personally!
Battle royal in Karnataka assembly.
Issue (what else?): Veerappan. Combatants (who else?): Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Chief Minister J H Patel.
Winner: Patel, after he agreed to lead a special task force comprising Opposition members to catch the forest brigand.
Rediff On The NeT presents herewith an edited account of the drama:
Veerappan discussions are on. The Opposition, as usual, is crowing for Patel's head and blood. And Patel, unmindful of all that, is speaking bravely on the issue, sniping shots at his rivals oh-so-frequently.
"Judging by the
speeches made by Opposition members, including former chief
minister M Veerappan Moily," he says, "a team of Opposition leaders could be
sent to catch the notorious forest brigand!"
Opposition baying turns to plain booing. But Patel is brave. He thrusts out his chin, pulls in his paunch, and sticks to his stand.
Which is plain beyond Kharge's endurance. He jumps up.
"Sure, let's constitute a task force," he tells the House, "Opposition members will all sign up if Patel agrees to head it!"
"Done," comes Patel's reply, "I will head the team!"
While on the matter, he decides to shoot down the Opposition allegation that the government 'surrendered' to Veerappan (on the hostage crisis).
"It was not surrender," he says, "We just took a pragmatic stand to deal with the situation successfully and get back the hostages safely."
The police, Patel continues, would keep a constant vigil to
ensure that the brigand does not enter the state forests again.
"Their (the police's) morale is very high -- they are just waiting to finish off Veerappan," Patel claims, "I am only waiting for an appropriate time..."
Now, tired out from his exertions, the chief minister postpones the discussion to a future date and sinks back into his chair -- but not before he conveys his strong exception to Moily's suggestion that Nakeeran Editor R Gopal should be arrested...
Veerappan delays surrender; releases hostages