A day after Karnataka governor HR Bhardwaj granted sanction to prosecute chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, two complaints were filed in a Bangalore court on Saturday. Both were about the CM’s alleged involvement in land scams. The move sharpened the war of words between the Congress and BJP.The BJP, pushed on the backfoot after taking the corruption offensive against the government, picked holes in the governor’s decision. The Congress hit back with its big guns.
Home minister P Chidambaram led the counter-attack, backing Bhardwaj to the hilt. "I am glad to note that the BJP no longer says that the alleged transgressions of law in Karnataka are only immoral and not illegal," he said in a statement.
Chidambaram’s reference was to the phrase used by the BJP president Nitin Gadkari in an interview to HT earlier that Yeddyurappa having used his discretionary powers to allot land to his family members was only immoral, and not illegal.
Gadkari, on a visit to Beijing, though, repeated the phrase to defend the CM.
Law minister M Veerappa Moily said the BJP’s attack on the governor showed it was defending corruption, instead of addressing the serious issue of large-scale corruption prevalent in its state government.
The Left too sided with the governor. This will be a further blow for the BJP, since both sides were together in the
Parliament boycott over the 2G spectrum scam.
The BJP continued its attack on Bhardwaj and even dragged the Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, into the controversy. “The governor, by acting on his own without waiting for the advice of the council of ministers, besides having acted unconstitutionally, has challenged the basis of democratic functioning,” said senior party leader Arun Jaitley.
Referring to Justice Hegde’s statement that the governor was well within his rights to grant the sanction, Jaitley said, “The statement gives an impression as though the governor has acted in a constitutionally
correct manner… but the requirement for the complaint being first considered by the council of ministers is not satisfied.”