Karnataka BJP government becomes a rogue’s gallery - The New Indian Express

Karnataka BJP government becomes a rogue’s gallery

Published: 23rd Dec 2012 09:00:04 AM

There is one constant issue with the Karnataka BJP government—corruption charges against its ministers and leaders. At least half a dozen ministers and equal number of legislators are facing various charges of corruption before the Lokayukta courts in Karnataka.

Deputy Chief Minister and the state BJP president KS Eshwarappa is the latest to join this long list of ‘corrupt’ netas. He has been accused of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income after becoming the minister for the first time in 2006 in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy. The Shimoga Lokayukta court has ordered an inquiry into the case forcing the BJP leader to seek an anticipatory bail.

Corruption has been a pattern in the state BJP ever since it came to power in 2008. Breakaway BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa was the biggest casualty. He had to step down as chief minister and later spent 21 days in jail along with his two Cabinet colleagues Katta Subramanya Naidu and SN Krishnaiah Shetty.

The party which had taken a moral high ground against corruption had to face the humiliation of its leaders going to jail one after the other while several are still facing charges before various courts in the state. As a result, the party’s once claim of clean image has taken a severe beating and is likely to reflect in the coming elections.

“It is a fact that the party’s image has taken a severe beating in the last four years. There is no doubt about it. The number of charges against party leaders reflect this clearly,” said BJP senior citizen forum president BB Shivappa. A senior party functionary admits that the party had little to explain to the people on the charges against its leaders. “Clearly, it will impact the results more than any other issue,” he said.

Besides Eshwarappa, half a dozen ministers including another deputy Chief Minister R Ashok, Industries Minister Murgesh Nirani, Food and civil Supplies Minister DN Jeevraj, higher Education Minister CT Ravi, Law Minister Suresh Kumar, Forest Minister CP Yogishwar, Houisng Minster V Somanna, Environment Minister Sogadu Shivanna are also facing several charges of corruption and fraud.

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