Another stain

Another stain

Lokayukta Santosh Hegde’s charge that the state government’s special representative in Delhi  Dhananjay Kumar had tried to influence him against naming chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in the report that he is preparing on illegal mining in the state shows the senior BJP leader and two others who accompanied him when he met Hegde in very poor light. It has also further tarnished Yeddyurappa and the BJP.  It is of course Hegde’s word against Kumar’s but no one would have the smallest doubt who is to be believed.
Kumar had told many people that he had ‘’fixed’’ Hegde and that Yeddyurappa would not be indicted in the mining report. It was when this slander spread that Hedge gave out the details of the meeting Kumar, higher education minister V S Acharya and former chairman of the state finance commission A G Kudagi had with him two months ago where a request was made to spare Yeddyurappa. The BJP’s question why Hegde has reacted so late is pointless. It is now that the slander has become public and so the Lokayukta has reacted to it.

It is shameful that such a shoddy attempt was made to save the chief minister from indictment. It marks yet another low in politics. The idea of approaching a constitutional authority with a blatantly wrong request should have been unimaginable in the past. But it could certainly happen in the state’s present corrupt political environment where anything is possible. Hegde is known for his integrity and honesty. He is not known to lie, and politicians are not great truth-tellers. The three men who met him probably thought they could buy him off. Why did they take the trouble? Did they think Yeddyurappa was guilty and had to be saved? One more indictment would not have made much difference to Yeddyurappa’s reputation. But perhaps it is going to be different this time.

It is also difficult to imagine that they acted without the chief minister’s knowledge, and senior persons of the government and those close to him are involved in it. After Hegde’s revelation they do not deserve to continue in the positions they hold. If Yeddyurappa and his friends cannot convincingly prove that  Hegde has made a false charge, they will be held guilty of a gross impropriety.

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