Patna: Senior leader of Janata Dal (United), Shivanand Tiwari, has said the party's ally BJP dropped its former party President Bangaru Laxman like a hot potato after his conviction in the Tehelka sting case and yet they did not apply the same rule to former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.
The statement comes even as the BJP is trying to fight off a Congress offensive against it over corruption.
"Look, the BJP dropped Bangaru Laxman like a hot potato. It's almost as if he were a Dalit, and they would lose their caste if they stood next to a Dalit. But what's happening in the case of Yeddyurappa? Everyone knows what happened in that case. But the BJP didn't take a similar stand there. This is the BJP's internal matter, but being a political and social activist I felt that this was wrong," Mr Tiwari said yesterday.
Ever since the Karnataka High Court last month quashed an FIR in the illegal mining case and struck down a portion of the Lokayukta report that indicted him leading to his exit as chief minister, Mr Yeddyurappa has been campaigning in vain to return to the top post. Mr Yeddyurappa was asked by his party leadership to step down as chief minister last year after he was strongly indicted for corruption by the Karnataka Lokayukta in a report on illegal mining.
But Mr Yeddyurappa's woes are far from over. A Central empowered committee of the Supreme Court has recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the former chief minister in a case relating to alleged irregularities in denotification of land and kickbacks related to illegal mining. The Supreme Court will take a final decision on whether to order that CBI investigation or not.
The panel has suggested that the CBI should investigate in detail, alleged misuse of office by Mr Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister, noting that prima facie massive illegalities seemed to have taken place, including serious violation of rules to de-notify agricultural land, allowing the BJP leader's relatives to make a huge windfall when they resold de-notified land at an enormous profit.