Mr. BS Yeddyurappa has mobilized a majority of the ruling BJP legislators of the Karnataka assembly to demand an honourable reinstatement by his political party. The media quite understandably is avidly following developments in this unfolding drama. But should not some attention be also spared for another aspect of this event that is being woefully neglected?
Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader Mr. Arun Jaitley entrusted with the responsibility to sort out this inner party dispute of the BJP said that the reason for Mr. Yeddyurappa to resign from the chief minister’s post no longer existed. Why did Mr. Jaitley say this? He had to say this because the Karnataka High Court had overturned the report submitted by former Lokayukta Mr. Santosh Hegde which in the first place indicted Mr. Yeddyurappa for alleged corruption.
Mr. Hegde’s voluminous report named Mr. Yeddyurappa, four other ministers and former chief minister and JDS leader Mr. H D Kumaraswamy for indulging in corruption. Curiously, this formidable report of 464 pages did not find a single of the many allegations levelled against former Congress Chief Minister and current Union Foreign Minister Mr. SM Krishna to be of any substance. Mr. Hegde gave a clean chit to Mr. Krishna. Now that the Lokayukta’s report has been rubbished by the High Court does not Mr. Santosh Hegde’s performance also merit attention? After all, his report unseated a chief minister and destabilized a government. Is not some accountability called for?
It might be recalled that Mr. Hegde has close and longstanding personal rapport with BJP senior leader Mr. LK Advani. Mr. Advani with his statesmanlike approach refused to target Mrs. Sonia Gandhi for her allegedly held foreign Swiss bank account. It might also be recalled that Mr. Hegde is in the forefront of the struggle led by so-called civil society spearheaded by Team Anna Hazare against corruption in public life. Team Anna Hazare members never fail to demand total accountability and transparency in public life.
Oddly enough, no Team member has thought fit to comment on the High Court decision that rubbished the Lokayukta report submitted by Mr. Hegde. This is doubly strange because Team Anna Hazare members consider the setting up of a Jan Lokpal and Lokayuktas as a panacea to root out corruption. If one of their own Team members as the Lokayukta failed to deliver results, how effective will be the Jan Lokpal? If Team members fail to reflect on this aspect, perhaps sections of the media might?