Ashok Chavan and B.S. Yediyurappa: chief ministers of neighbouring States, one of the Congress, the other of the BJP. Both caught in heavy-duty nepotism. One for allocation of flats in the name of his relatives, the other for allocation of sites and industrial plots in the name of his relatives.
As public pressure mounts, Chavan’s kin “return” their allotments but the party gets him to resign. As public pressure mounts, Yediyurappa brazens it out, pointing fingers at other politicians, even suggesting that nothing was wrong in promoting one’s own children, and finally gets them to “return” their allotments.
But will the BJP ask him to do what the Congress did?
Editorial in The Indian Express:
“If the BJP is indeed satisfied, if Yediyurappa’s explanation that “all CMs do it”, is considered sufficient, then Karnataka politics is in a deep, deep hole…. The sinkhole that Karnataka politics has become is the most persuasive of arguments that real estate and mining desperately need depoliticisation and reform unless they are to poison politics across this country….
“Bangalore, for so long a beacon of progress, is being held hostage to the extractive politics these exemplify. For Karnataka’s sake, Yediyurappa’s attempt to brazen out these revelations must not be allowed. He and his government have shown themselves to be mired in the worst sort of crony capitalism. He must go — and if he refuses, he must be asked to go.”
Editorial in The Times of India:
“It’s time the BJP looked within and ensured its leaders too measured up to the ethical standards the party has demanded from its political rivals…. Corruption in the past can’t be cited to justify current actions. By all means probe previous out-of-turn land allotments and take remedial action. That, however, should not come in the way of clearing the present mess in Karnataka. A clean-up there is urgently called for.
“The BJP leadership needs to set its house in order in Karnataka. The moral register it has adopted in Parliament will sound hollow if the party persists with the current leadership in Bangalore. The Congress has at least asked Ashok Chavan to step down in Maharashtra. Where is the BJP’s Prithviraj Chavan?”
Photograph: Agence France Presse via The Tribune, Chandigarh
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