Karela Fry

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The rot exposed

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For months now we have seen political theater on corruption in public office. On the one hand the opposition supports the likes of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare by asking for the prime minister’s office to be brought under the draft legislature on the Lokpal. On the other hand it quietly undercuts the same effort to build a strong Lokpal to take on parliamentarians. Similarly, it attacks Congress governments on the issue of corruption, while condoning similar allegations of corruption in its own government in Karnataka. The inevitable conclusion is that all political parties are involved in massive levels of corruption, and not a single party is interested in actually cleaning the system.

So the Karnataka Lokayuta report became a damning document, with the claim that Rs. 16,085 lakhs (that’s as large as a tenth of Raja’s 2G spectrum scam) was lost to the public exchequer due to personal corruption of the chief minister Yedyurappa. The document damns politicians across party lines, as DNA reports:

Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa stands indicted. The Lokayukta’s final report on illegal mining has lined him alongside the Bellary big boys — Janardhana Reddy, Karunakara Reddy — Sriramulu and minister V Somanna, stating that they were guilty under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and deserved to be prosecuted.

“I have submitted a copy of the report to governor HR Bharadwaj, too, for prosecuting the CM and his ministerial colleagues named in the report. Let me wait and see what action he initiates,” Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde said.

Under the Lokayukta Act the state government has three months time to submit an action taken report to the Lokayukta on the report. Hegde made it quite apparent that he was sceptical and anticipated ‘cold storage’ treatment for the report from the BS Yeddyurappa government. And that’s why he also sent the report to governor HR Bharadwaj recommending prosecution in accordance with law.

Apart from Yeddyurappa and his four ministerial colleagues, the report has documented the involvement of former CM HD Kumaraswamy, Congress MP Anil Lad and BJP MLA Nagendra. Kumaraswamy has been indicted for recommending mining leases for two companies,” Hegde said.

The Lokayukta has detected irregularities and illegalities in mining, transportation and export of ore involving over 100 companies. He has recommended cancellation of their licenses, recovery of four times the market value of the ore from them and also other punishment. As for the all important cases involving the CM and his family members, the report has documented how South West Mining Company belonging to the Jindal Group donated Rs 10 crore to Prerana Trust floated by the CM’s sons and son-in-law.

The report also points out how the company paid Rs 20 crore for a 1-acre prime land at Rachenahalli in Bangalore to the CM’s family.

As for the Reddys, who have been claiming all these years that they do not have mining interests in the state, the report calls their bluff by highlighting how they were engaged in mining in the state and in whose name, Hegde said.

Karnataka's Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Karnataka's Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Although a constitutional authority had documented a case of personal corruption for an amount of money that could be used to set up a medium-sized company, the chief minister refused to go. HT reported:

Though remaining in office appeared a remote possibility after Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde sought his trial for graft, Yeddyurappa and his supporters seemed unwilling to accept the reality.

Hence the shock and pall of gloom in his camp from the party central leaders’ decision to tell him to get out at the earliest to save the party from further embarrassment.

The central leaders’ decision, however, came as a relief to a large section of long-time BJP members and supporters as the party’s image was taking a severe beating in the only southern state it is ruling.

“It was time the change was effected though there is nothing new in the Lokayukta’s findings. The opposition parties had made public the documents on donations to a trust run by Yeddyurappa’s sons and also about the money they made from selling one acre of land near Bangalore,” said a veteran BJP member requesting anonymity.

And the shocker: a majority of his party collegues do not want him to go! TOI reports:

The BJP’s crisis in Karnataka seems to have worsened with some party MPs and MLAs coming out in support of sacked chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and asking party high command to reconsider his resignation.

According to Times Now, 75 MLAs and 19 MPs have come out in support of Yeddyurappa and have asked him not to resign.

So now the real motivations of politicians are out in the open: forget the people, forget the republic, forget the laws; they are in it for the money and nothing but the money.


3 Responses

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  1. […] only is the draft diluted down to almost nothing, the events in Karnataka revealed that the state’s Lokayukta was eventually powerless: while he was made to quit, he […]

  2. […] made sense for the party to get rid of Yeddyurappa when the Karnataka Lokayukta made it clear how deeply corrupt was the first BJP government in the […]

  3. […] Tehelka for background on Sushma Swaraj’s connection with the Reddys. The connection with ex-CM of Karnataka, Yeddyurappa is well known, as is the fact that G. Janardhana Reddy himself was part of the BJP government in […]

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