Under pressure to take action against its Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the BJP is relying on the “procedural lapses” in the submission of the state Lokayukta’s report on the illegal mining issue.
The report, which is yet to be submitted, has allegedly indicted Mr Yeddyurappa, his family members and some of his Cabinet colleagues for illegal mining. While the Opposition, including the Congress and the Left parties, have demanded Mr Yeddyurappa’s resignation, the BJP is in no mood to take the report seriously. The BJP on Friday said it will respond only after the report is complete and is submitted.
A senior party functionary said as per the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, before submitting the final report, an inquiry is held and comments of those named in it are sought. “But in this case no comments were sought. It is, therefore, not clear whether this is a preliminary report or the final report,” said the senior functionary.
Sources disclosed the BJP is of the view that charges levied against Mr Yeddyurappa have no merit.
Also, the Karnataka Lokayukta had said that there is no direct evidence of Mr Yeddyurappa’s involvement in the rampant illegal mining in the state. Though the BJP top brass is yet to meet over the issue, the central leadership is confident that the report poses no threat to the Yeddyurappa government.
Even though a section within the party is in favour of action against Mr Yeddyurappa, the BJP top brass is fully backing the chief minister, who it feels has been unnecessarily targeted by the Opposition.
Also, with the names of some senior Congress and JD(S) leaders in the report, the BJP feels that it has enough ammunition against the Opposition parties. The party had already reminded the Congress of following same yardsticks while dealing with the Lokayukta’s report in Delhi which has slammed chief minister Sheila Dikshit for “misrepresenting” facts relating to the construction of low-cost houses, a charge denied by her.
Meanwhile, the Congress accused the BJP of practising “unadulterated hypocrisy and dedicated double-speak” on corruption. “The BJP and its Karnataka government have lived up to their acronym of a corrupt (Bhrashtachar Jamao and Bhrashtachar Jagao) party. The chief minister and all his constitutional functionaries, the ministers have lost their moral and legal right to continue for even a moment,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Asian Age