BANGALORE: 2011 was a turbulent year for politicians of all parties, with charges of corruption being levelled with an intensity unheard of in the annals of Karnataka politics.
While several leaders, including S M Krishna, H D Kumaraswamy, B S Yeddyurappa, G Janardhana Reddy, Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Setty, came under cloud, it was BJP leaders starting from Yeddyurappa who went to jail and came out on bail; though Reddy continues to languish in Chanchalguda Central Jail in Hyderabad on charges of illegal mining.
The Lokayukta report on illegal mining submitted by Justice N Santosh Hegde consumed Yeddyurappa, while charges of denotification made Naidu, his son Jagadish and Setty cool their heels behind the bars.
For the BJP, though, its biggest embarassment in 2011 came in Yeddyurappa’s dubious distinction of being the first CM to resign over charges of corruption. He was succeeded by D V Sadananda Gowda.
Krishna and Kumaraswamy got a reprieve from the FIR of Lokayukta Court when the High Court stayed their proceedings.
The state also witnessed some near-Constitutional improprieties when Governor HR Bharadwaj recommended the dismissal of the BJP government which, however, was rejected by a Union Cabinet committee.
In an another event, the Supreme Court rejected the ruling of Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah who had disqualified 16 MLAs.
The war-of-words between Raj Bhavan and Vidhana Soudha and BJP and Lokayukta were a running tragedy. Former health minister B Sriramulu’s resignation from the BJP and his massive victory in the byelections was an event which does not augur well for the BJP.
The state also lost two veteran leaders — K H Ranganath and S Bangarappa.