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BJP faces corruption image loss over land allocation by Yeddyurappa




For the past several weeks, the BJP has been putting a huge amount of pressure on the Congress over corruption, with the scams related to the spending on the Commonwealth Games, the Adarsh housing society of defense land, and the whole drama over the allocation of 2G spectrum by the former telecom minister (A Raja) (something in which the opposition has started to bring the Prime Minister into the line of fire, accused of standing by while all this corruption was happening). However, in a demonstration of the overall amount of corruption in the Indian polity, the tables have turned to some extent on the BJP, with the Chief Minister of their only state in the south, B S Yeddyurappa, being apparently guilty of allocating land out of turn, at low costs, and by changing policies, to his kith and kin. The situation has reached such a state that there are strong chances that he will have to bow out of office, otherwise the Congress will be using this as a weapon to blunt the corruption stick.
B S Yeddyurappa has faced some major problems before, including the almost defeat due to the non-support of some legislators (both from the BJP and 5 independents). He managed to face this test of support with some loss of strength (including having to take the support of the mining barons, the Reddy brothers, who would no doubt want an increase in their influence and tweaking of policies to support their mining industries). He also faces opposition in both the state and in the central wings of the BJP, with Ananth Kumar and Sushma Swaraj against him. But, it is this latest issue that is threatening to topple him.

If you were to look at the corrupt practices of various politicians in India and were to use an independent powerful investigating agency, you would find that a majority of such politicians are guilty of doing things that would support their own friends, family and interests (only recently there was an article in India Today that claimed that Ashok Chavan had used his rule to increase his wealth to around Rs. 2500 crore), but there is never too much of a hue and cry about investigating and prosecuting such cases. There can be no doubt that Yeddyurappa is guilty, he admitted as such by asking all the family members to return the land allotted to them, and earlier had sought to wriggle out of the issue by claiming that other politicians also did the same (did the same illegal granting of favors). However, in this super-charged environment where the media is taking pleasure in outing the various misdeeds of politicians, it would be very dangerous for the BJP to have such a Chief Minister in place who has been all but declared guilty.
Like any other politician caught in such an issue, the Chief Minister is defiant, claiming that he will not step down, that he has a majority support within the elected legislators of the party and so on, but this is beyond his control. It is difficult for the BJP to find a replacement, but it maybe that they have no option in this case. What is needed is prosecution if he has done something wrong, not just a resignation.




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