People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 48

November 28, 2010



Double Speak, Thy Name is BJP


IN a classic case of double speak and political opportunism sans any sense of guilt, the BJP has decided to retain its Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, despite the mounting charges of corruption and nepotism against him.  As the trend of the Bihar assembly election became clear with the counting showing landslide victory for the JD(U), Nitish Kumar led NDA, the BJP on Wednesday abandoned all pretences of  morality.  BJP president announced that, “After consultations with senior party leaders and state leaders, the party has decided to continue with B S Yeddyurappa as chief minister of Karnataka.”


While the BJP seeks to take  totally undeserved credit  for the Bihar results by claiming to have placed the `development agenda’ over caste considerations, its Karnataka decision, however, is based purely on caste considerations.  When it became clear that the chief minister had mobilised the powerful Lingayat community behind him in Karnataka, it became certain that with his ouster, the BJP could well loose its first state government in South India.  Clearly, political morality and the ostensible crusade against corruption in parliament were thrown to the wind in order to save its state government purely on caste considerations. 


When questioned by the media as to how the BJP can explain its demand for a JPC to investigate the 2G spectrum scam at the centre while supporting the Karnataka chief minister to remain in office, one of its leaders rather candidly said, “The party carefully weighed its possible political losses in Karnataka, where it could lose its  government if it were to insist on its chief minister resigning, against the notional political gain through satisfaction of doing what it preaches to others so that it can continue to wave the morality flag here. 


“It is veering round to the conclusion that it would be foolish to endanger its only government in the south to get some brownie morality points that do not count on the ground.” (The Hindu, November 24, 2010)


The BJP national president has said that the commission of enquiry appointed by the Karnataka government would go into the allegations of massive land scams that have happened at the behest of the chief minister.  The state cabinet had already decided,  many weeks ago, to conduct a judicial enquiry  into these grave charges.  The CPI(M) had described this as an eye wash since a judicial enquiry has no power to prosecute the culprits.  It is such an enquiry that the BJP national president now invokes to justify their seriousness in enquiring into these allegations. 


The list of corruption scandals against the chief minister and his family is, indeed, long.  In these columns, in the past, we had detailed  some of these and also exposed the fact that many ministers had to resign from their posts due to  corruption scandals. 


Even through the current crisis, it has been revealed that the chief minister’s sons have struck yet another land deal.  They purchased government land for Rs 40 lakh in 2006, when Yeddyurappa was the deputy chief minister.  According to the Karnataka Land Transfer Restriction Act, 1991, transfer, alienation or mortgage of land notified by the Bangalore Development Authority is a criminal offence which attracts a minimum imprisonment of three years.  Yet, on November 3, 2008, Yeddyurappa now as the chief minister issued an order  denotifying the land.  This very land was sold this Monday, November 22, 2010,  for Rs 20 crore to a mining firm (Times of India, November 24, 2010).  Obviously, the fear of the chief minister being forced to quit  had moved his sons’ to sell this land for a huge profit.  Elsewhere in this issue (page 2), some of the other scams are listed. 


On an earlier occasion, these columns had detailed how the Yeddyurappa government manipulated its way to remain in office by engineering a majority in the assembly through immoral acts like `operation lotus’.  Even today, the government has a majority in the assembly  only because some MLAs have been disqualified prior to the vote of confidence.    In an assembly with full strength, the Yeddyurappa government  does not command a majority.  Out of a total strength of 225 (including a lone nominated member), the BJP commands a strength of only 106.  


The BJP seems to have hit another morality crisis in Uttarakhand.  Many of its top leaders are mounting pressure for the removal of its chief minister Ramesh Pokhriya Nishank , who is mired in a spate of scandals.  Two major scandals rocking the state include alleged irregularities  in 56 hydro electric projects and changing the  land use of a 15 acre industrial plot worth Rs 400 crores and handing it over to real estate developers for a mere Rs 3 crores at Rishikesh. 


It is, thus, clear that on the issue of large-scale corruption, the colossal loot of India, there is little difference between the Congress-led UPA and the BJP.  In the interests of the country and its people, it is imperative to stop this loot and, instead, use these resources for improving the people’s livelihood standards and, thus, in creating a better India. 

(November 24, 2010)