BJP distances from Halappa

Ex-ministers arrest boost to Opposition

 
Soon after the report appeared in a newspaper stating that a minister has sexually abused his friend’s wife on May 2, Halappa resigned from his post in Bangalore saying he did not want to cause any embarrassment to the BJP, ahead of the crucial Gram Panchayat elections. This provided a right opportunity to the Opposition parties to make a scathing attack on the ruling party in the first phase of Gram Panchayat polls held on May 8.

According to sources in the BJP, Halappa’s arrest in Shimoga will only help the Opposition parties to continue their attack of the BJP in the second phase of polling scheduled to be held on May 12. The former Food and Civil Supplies Minister H Halappa has been charged under Section 341 (Wrongful restraint), 376 (Rape) and 506 -read with 34 (Criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), following a 12-page complaint lodged by victim Chandravati, wife of his friend Venkatesh Murthy.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa declining to comment on the issue is a clear indication of the embarrassment caused to the ruling BJP. However, the chief minister had strongly defended his former colleague after Halappa resigned from his post. He had even termed him satvik and expressed confidence that he would come clear after the investigation.

Both the chief minister and the BJP had tried their best to prevent the Opposition parties from taking advantage of the issue. Hence, Yeddyurappa quickly ordered for a CID probe, while the State BJP party chief Eshwarappa openly expressing doubt over the veracity of the case filed by the victim.

When contacted, Eshwarappa distanced himself from the Halappa’s case. “It is Halappa’s personal case. The party should not be associated with it. By surrendering himself before the police, he has only done his duty," he said.

Gram Panchayat elections are crucial for the party’s growth at grass-roots level. The saffron party has high expectations from the Gram Panchayat polls.

CID may oppose bail to Halappa

In all probability, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials might oppose the bail plea by Halappa before the court, according to official sources.

According to sources CID is planning to file a charge sheet within one month’s time.

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