Accusations are flying thick and fast in election-bound Karnataka. The opposition BJP has announced it will expose one scam involving Chief Minister Siddaramaiah or his family and cabinet members every three days, and has already started fulfilling the promise. Its chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa says the party has lined up enough number of “scams” to keep the momentum going till the elections are held in the summer of 2018.
It was the Congress which drew first blood in this game of thrones by getting the government-controlled Anti-Corruption Bureau to revive cases against Yeddyurappa. But now it is busy fighting the barrage of allegations flying in from the opposition camps, with the JD(S) too joining the battle. No prizes for guessing why the allegations are being paraded out now.
None of the cases being talked about are new and, in the end, will matter little as parties could be as serious about taking them to the logical conclusion as they are about ending corruption. So, it’s about proving who is dirtier. It makes sense for BJP, because if there is one factor that’s loaded against Yeddyurappa, it’s his tainted image—he was once jailed and is still fighting corruption cases. The BJP believes it serves its cause if it can prove, or at least create the impression, that the Siddaramaiah regime is as or more corrupt. But there’s one thing that these warring chieftains have failed to perceive.
The voters have grown wiser. Corruption by politicians is not something that shocks them anymore. The people, no doubt, would like their representatives to be non-corrupt, but what matters more is what they can deliver. Trying to score brownie points by tarring the opponents may make sense for old world politicians like Siddaramaiah and Yeddyurappa, but in this age, positive politics and development agenda could work better. Making corruption a poll issue may prove counterproductive for both the Congress and BJP, given their track records in the state.