With former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa's arrest for his alleged involvement in land scams embarrassing LK Advani’s anti-corruption yatra, the senior BJP leader virtually dumped the party’s Karnataka strongman on Tuesday.
Advani’s bid to salvage his nationwide campaign against corruption came on a day when Karnataka chief minister Sadananda Gowda and his cabinet met BS Yeddyurappa in hospital, where he was admitted after his arrest on October 15.
Advani dissociated himself from BSY even before his party took any decision on distancing itself from the Karnataka leader.
“We are fully aware of the fact that no party can effectively win the confidence of the people against the present corruption of the Congress party if its own house is bedevilled with similar weaknesses,” Advani said in Nagpur on Tuesday after cancelling two press conferences in Madhya Pradesh since BSY’s arrest.
Advani’s remarks against BSY came as the BJP appeared to be in a dilemma over its stand on the cases against the former chief minister.
Yeddyurappa was forced to quit in August after state lokayukta justice Santosh Hegde held his government responsible for illegal mining in Karnataka. Initially, Advani parried questions on BSY.
But he later said, without directly naming the former CM, that “small mistakes by others are embarrassing the party leadership. There may be chances of a slip-up, so I am telling everyone in the party to remain vigilant.”
Advani's assertion prompted party chief Nitin Gadkari to say: “There is no place in the BJP for those who want to indulge in corruption. They are not welcome.” On Tuesday BSY was shifted from a state-run heart specialty centre to a general hospital hours after the Karnataka HC deferred his bail plea to October 20.