KPN photos
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi greets New chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa during swearing-in ceremony at Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on Friday. -KPN
The Karnataka Question
This article originally appeared in CRI content has now been subsumed in The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of

A draft report being compiled by the Karnataka Lokayukta was recently leaked to the press. Mr.Dhananjay Kumar, the state govt. representative to New Delhi rightly refused to comment on the content of the report. Propriety demands that individuals holding constitutional & party positions reserve their comments for the report’s final version, sealed & signed by Mr. Hegde.

Anyhow such is the state of affairs that every report at every stage by every agency is leaked in this country. The political & media discourse post the leak is not going to stop for the sake of propriety. The Indian media has begun discussing the implications of the report & henceforth we in the social media cannot ignore it either.

The recent reportage emanating out of Karanataka does convey that there is something rotten with the polity of Karnataka. Mining & other crony interest seem to have infiltrated every party, even dominating its agenda. This is shameful but this development is not restricted to Karnataka, in fact it extends to all of Karnataka’s neighboring states. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue.

The BJP must start preparing for the worst case scenario; a Lokayukta report indicting its ministers & the Chief Minister himself. Such an indictment cannot be ignored politically. The Lokayukta is a constitutional body & Mr.Yeddyurappa cannot dismiss its findings as Congress’s or Deve Gowda’s political rhetoric, particularly when the leaked report also indicts member of the other two principal parties of Karnataka. Charges of nepotism & corruption are ethically indefensible.

At this potential & likely eventuality, what can the BJP do rather what should the BJP do?

The BJP cannot continue its national narrative against the Congress on corruption while ignoring charges against its own.

Should the national leadership of the party force Mr.Yeddyurappa resignation? No, that would be anti-federal. Some would rightly argue that Mr.Yeddyurappa is a rooted leader of the masses and a largely unelected Delhi cabal of the BJP has no right to seal his fate. Fair enough, the BJP must respect India & its own federal character. Does that mean Mr.Yeddyurappa can continue as per his will? No.

Let the people of Karnataka decide Mr.Yeddurappa’s fate with the facts of the lokayukta report in front of them. If the report indicts Mr.Yeddyurappa than he should immediately resign & dissolve the assembly. Let there be fresh elections with the people of Karnataka having a chance to digest the findings of the report which would we assume indict members of all three principal parties of Karnataka.

If the people of Karnataka decide to return the BJP led by Mr.Yeddyurappa than so be it. Their mandate is final & must be respected. Mr.Yeddyurappa can than claim popular legitimacy inspite of damaged credibility. Besides the BJP can say that ‘look the man resigned & sought a fresh mandate and got one from the people, hence the matter is closed’. If BJP led by Mr.Yeddurappa loses than the BJP can again say that ‘look we did the right thing, our sitting CM resigned & went to the people & we willingly paid the price for his actions’. Mr.Modi did take this route after the events of 2002 where he proponed the elections & sought a fresh mandate from the people of Gujarat. The rest is history.

In this scenario, Mr.Yeddyurappa will resign (which he really should if indicted in the report) and no one can claim that a largely unelected Delhi cabal of the party sealed the fate of a rooted son of the soil. Besides most importantly, the people of Karnataka would have decided Mr.Yeddyurappa’s fate as it should happen in a federal polity. The Gujarat route could be the answer to the BJP’s Karnataka problem.

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