BJP's pro-lokpal face takes a beating
The BJP left no stone unturned when it wanted to be seen as supportive of social activist Anna Hazare's demand for a strong lokpal, but matters related to lokayuktas in its states have ended up hitting the party politically. HT reports.delhi Updated: Jan 19, 2012 01:26 IST
The BJP left no stone unturned when it wanted to be seen as supportive of social activist Anna Hazare's demand for a strong lokpal, but matters related to lokayuktas in its states have ended up hitting the party politically.
Days ago, the party's vision document for Uttar Pradesh promised a lokayukta in the state on the Uttarakhand model, praised by Team Anna as an ideal one. State chief minister BC Khanduri had brought the bill soon after he replaced Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank to counter the perception that the BJP government there was mired in corruption.
But the Gujarat HC's verdict upholding the governor's appointment of the state lokayukta without the state government's consent has come as an embarrassment for the party close on the heels of its public support for the Anna campaign.
Significantly, while the BJP is arguing in this case that an elected state government must have the initiative in appointments, it had earlier demanded that there be no official majority in the lokpal selection panel at the Centre.
The Gujarat embarrassment, however, is not the only one.
Months back, the party lost its Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to an adverse lokayukta report on illegal mining. Keen to be seen as supporting Team Anna's campaign against corruption, the BJP sacked Yeddyurappa to set an example of political morality.
Ironically, then Karnataka lokayukta Santosh Hegde is part of Team Anna.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman refused to see this as an embarrassment for the party, "Why was Raj Kumar Chauhan's continuation as a Delhi minister after a lokayukta indictment not an embarrassment for the Congress?"