One of the main reasons the Congress seems to enjoy its cozy position is the inability of an opposition party to launch a major assault. The second biggest party in the Lok Sabha, BJP, is unable to lay a platform for an offensive because of its misadventures in Karnataka. It is because of the inopportune timing, the BJP finds itself in a hypocritical stance. While the Central government is coming to grip with the plethora of scams being unearthed, the Congress team has been clever in linking every scam to the one in Karnataka. This sort of
divagation has become a familiar story for the past two years.
Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari, “Money talks and Yeddy walks”. “Money from illegal mining is distributed in the highest ranks of BJP officials”.
(Money talks and Yeddyurappa walks, 2011)
In a press conference held by the party to talk about A. Raja’s latest revelations linking Manmohan Singh and P.Chidambaram to the spectrum deal, the party spokesperson seemed hell bent on linking the issue with the corruption by the BJP in Karnataka.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, “The limit of decency has been crossed. Yeddyurappa should immediately resign. If not then Gadkari should resign”.
(Digvijay targets RSS, Yeddy , 2011)
The General Secretary makes these statements when obscene amounts of money have been looted because of the 2G and CWG scams.
Kapil Sibal “If PM is a silent spectator the BJP is an active participant in Karnataka. My PM is one of the most honest human beings in India.”
The loss of a national party in questioning the Congress top brass is something to be bemoaned by the powerless citizens. The Congress has been adept at linking its woes to Yeddy’s mining misdemeanors. This has resulted in the BJP losing moral ground on its fight against corruption.
To understand the issue of corruption plaguing in Karnataka one has to go back to the appointment of the Chief Minister in 30th May 2008. The 19th Chief Minister of Karnataka gave BJP some hope of maintaining its central election ignominy. The important point to note is, the manner in which the CM came into power.
Karunakara, Somashekhar and Janardhan Reddy along with B. Sriramulu (a close associate and virtually a part of the family) played a crucial role in first helping the BJP garner 110 seats, and later by playing a key role in securing the support of the six independents to help Yeddyurappa realise his dream of heading the first BJP government in Karnataka
Fondly referred to as the Reddy brothers by the media, the three men wielded a power that was more supreme than the CM. Their support to the BJP government was rewarded with ministerial berths. Their approval and support, though, came under a price. A quid pro quo.
The Reddy brothers mining company, Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC), had begun mining iron ore beyond its permissible limits. Mined at a legal pace, Bellary has enough iron ore to last 30 years. But it is likely to be ravaged in just six. The reckless mining with scant regard for environmental hazards has resulted in filling the coffers of the Reddy brothers. It is ironic that the most powerful of the Reddy brothers, Janardhana Reddy holds the Tourism post in Yeddy’s cabinet. Their porcine needs have only been bolstered with Yeddy’s approval.
Equipped with tones of money and with it ensuing power, the Reddy brothers were on road to political salvation. Yedyurappa, a watching duck, decided to stifle the Bellary administration by making some changes. This earned the wrath of the Reddy brothers. They decided to withdraw support for the CM calling for a no-confidence motion in the legislative assembly.
After much chaos and dramatics, which saw the CM crying on television (not for the first time) and sacking some of his favourite ministers, the brothers pledged their support. Such was their power that the CM was forced to re-shuffle his cabinet at the demands of the brothers.
All the moolah raked in by the brothers by illegal mining, fake permits, mass transportation, evading customs etc… meant that their political clout was bound to increase. The BJP government has willingly refused to prosecute the brothers because they have lately been keen in helping Sushma Swaraj become the next Prime Minister. The hagiolatry was evident when Swaraj met the brothers in Bangalore and took her ‘blessings’.
In a country where the income inequality is shockingly alarming, the obscenities of the Reddy brothers cannot be further overstated;
There are a lot of stories one can tell about 42-year-old Gali Janardhan Reddy and his family. A man who owed debtors Rs 200 crore when his finance company collapsed in 1998. Ten years later, in 2008, the same man admitted that he and his wife alone have assets worth Rs 115 crore; with business turnovers of over Rs 2,000 crore. At last count, he and his brothers owned four helicopters besides an undisclosed number of aeroplanes. A number of luxury cars line the Reddy homes. In May 2009, the family spent an estimated Rs 20 crore on a wedding. The helicopters owned by the family ferried over 10,000 guests to the wedding even as 500 airconditioners helped them forget outside temperatures of 42 degree Celsius. A month later, the brothers donated a Rs 42 crore diamond-studded crown to a temple deity.
(The revenge of the Reddy Republic, 2009)
The conclusion of politics in Karnataka is simple. Irrespective of Yeddyurappa’s political clout amongst the Lingayats and BJP, the future of BJP’s interests lie in the funding abilities of the Reddy brothers. Surely the top brass in BJP will not rub them on the wrong side if they are to pose a serious threat to the Congress party in the next central elections.
The fate of Yeddy and the BJP government will be realized in less than a month when the Lokayukta report is submitted by Santhosh Hegde. It may be the proverbial straw on the camel’s back.
Digvijay targets RSS, Yeddy . (2011, July 24). Retrieved from Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Digvijay-targets-RSS-Yeddy--/Article1-724923.aspx
Money talks and Yeddyurappa walks. (2011, July 25). Retrieved from One India News: http://news.oneindia.in/2011/07/25/congress-hits-at-bjp-for-not-taking-action-against-bsy-aid0155.html
Newshour. (2011, July 27). Retrieved from TIMES NOW: http://www.timesnow.tv/Direct-Kapil-Sibal/videoshow/4379683.cms
Sanjana. (2008, June 14). The Reddy Flag Over Bangalore. Retrieved from Tehelka: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main39.asp?filename=Ne140608thereddyflag.asp
The revenge of the Reddy Republic. (2009, November 14). Retrieved from Tehelka: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main43.asp?filename=Ne141109the_revenge.asp