BJP proves it's 'a party with a difference'

BJP proves it's 'a party with a difference'

In the history of Karnataka politics, probably no politician who held the post of chief ministership had ever come under pressure like Yeddyurappa did. It’s for the first time the Lokayukta court has sent a former chief minister to judicial custody in the State.

Yeddyurappa’s one-time trusted lieutenant and former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu and his son Katta Jagadish are already in Parappana Agrahara prison. One more close aide of Yeddyurappa and former minister S N Krishnaiah Setty was sent to the jail a few hours before Yeddyurappa went. All these were at one point in time high-profile politicians and are now courting trouble over land scams and corruption charges. All of them are facing cases in the Lokayukta court.

Hartal Halappa, BJP MLA, lost his ministership following rape charges against him. MLC and former minister Janardhana Reddy is in CBI custody in the illegal mining case. MLA Y Sampangi was arrested by the Lokayukta police for taking bribe. But he has managed to get bail.

Denotification of public land by politicians who hold high posts is nothing new. Sometimes, land is denotified for a public purpose. But while doing so, rules should be followed. In case of Yeddyurappa, it is alleged that some of the denotifications he made in his capacity as chief minister were illegal. He has been accused of directly handling the denotification cases bypassing the Bangalore Development Authority.

Yeddyurappa did his best to buy time to escape from the eventuality of getting arrested. Finally, he had to bow to the court.

What next for BSY?

Going by the way the BJP has distanced itself from the Kattas, it is obvious that it will treat Yeddyurappa similarly. On the day Yeddyurappa became a VIP prisoner (khaidi number 10462), the State party president K S Eshwarappa was busy supervising arrangements for the Rath Yatra of L K Advani which will be in the coastal districts on October 31 and November 1. Eshwarappa was with a Sangh leader in Mangalore when the court pronounced the order rejecting bail.

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda confined himself to his home office. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar was in Davangere attending a programme called ‘Manthana’ to motivate elected representatives and officials to work for development.

As many as seven ministers including Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai and Lakshman Savadi were closeted with the chief minister in the morning. Prisons Minister A Narayanaswamy visited the prison before Yeddyurappa came there, to oversee security arrangements. But the minister left the premises before Yeddyurappa reached the prison.

But later, none of the senior leaders were available to the media to give reactions. It is learnt Yeddyurappa’s loyalists may hold a meeting in Bangalore on Sunday to express their solidarity with him. While admitting that the arrest had come as a big blow to the party, they said their leader Yeddyurappa had become a victim of the conspiracy hatched by the JD(S).

Yeddyurappa, at the party’s core committee meeting last week, had insisted that he should be made the State party president. With Saturday’s developments, he may not be able to demand anything from the party even if he manages to come out of the prison, as there are more corruption cases pending against him. He has also been indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Yeddyurappa, being a mass leader and a leader of the Lingayat community, had brought the BJP to power. But now, he is mired in many a legal tangle.

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