BJP makes Karnataka turf for scandals and
Friday February 10, 2012 12:17:28 PM,
V.S. Karnic, IANS
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be turning Karnataka
from its 'gateway to the south' into its playground for scandals
and self-goals. As of now scams outnumber self-goals but both
appear to impact the party with the same intensity.
As the outrage over three ministers being involved in sleazegate
continued, came the shocker that the party tried to pressure a
senior advocate to give up prosecuting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
J. Jayalalithaa in a corruption case.
The denials and explanations that have come following the
revelation by 78-year-old veteran advocate B.V. Acharya only go to
prove that the BJP is prone to tying itself in knots.
Acharya quit Wednesday as advocate general, citing "tremendous
pressure" from the state government and some BJP leaders to quit
as special public prosecutor (SPP) in the case against
He did not identify the BJP leaders but chose to hit back at them
by preferring to remain the SPP rather than advocate general.
Acharya has been SPP since 2004 after the case against
Jayalalithaa was transferred to a Bangalore court from Chennai by
the Supreme Court to ensure fair trial.
He has also held the post of advocate general simultaneously in
The BJP government headed by Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda
was aware that he is the SPP in the Jayalalithaa case when it
sought his services as advocate general in August last year.
Now Gowda says that Acharya was told to choose between the AG's
post and SPP's post because a petition has been filed in the high
court challenging his holding two positions.
Gowda denies telling Acharya to give up the SPP post.
The honourable course for Gowda and the BJP would have been to
wait for the high court to give its verdict on the petition
instead of appointing itself as an arbitrator in the case to
impose a 'this or that' diktat on Acharya.
Acharya insists there is no bar on him being the AG and SSP at the
same time. He should know his law as he has been AG for several
times and is now a member of the Law Commission!
This is a clear case of acting in haste to later spend a lot of
time unconvincingly defending what was easily an unwarranted step.
The action has only led to speculation that the BJP has begun
hunting for allies for the Lok Sabha elections, due in early 2014,
and possibly making Acharya quit as SPP was one way of moving
closer to Jayalalithaa.
Such a theory might be far-fetched as it is not clear how
Jayalalithaa will benefit if Acharya is no longer the SPP.
But with the BJP in Karnataka mired in scandals ranging from rape
to porn viewing, public perception will surely be 'daal mei kuch
kaala hain' (things are not what they seem to be), as the popular
Hindi saying goes.
The AG row shows that from being a party with a difference the BJP
has become a party that cannot differentiate between self-goal and
(V.S. Karnic can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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