As the nation’s external affairs minister, Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna knows that it is a small world he lords over—what goes around, comes around. So just months after he threatened to sue The Times of India, Bangalore, for suggesting that he was involved in the illegal mining scam comes news that he has indeed been named in a first information report (FIR) for issuance of mining licences during his tenure as the chief minister of Karnataka.
With all the faux sophistication he can muster, S.M. Krishna denies the charge. But for a Union government that is trying to stave off a crisis involving another minister (P. Chidambaram) whom his detractors have tried to implicate in the 2G scam, the naming of Krishna comes at a particularly inopportune time. Krishna, for his part, says his “legal team” will take appropriate action at the appropriate time, but the Opposition has smelt blood.
With B.S. Yediyurappa having had to resign in the wake of the Lok Ayukta indictment in the mining scam, and having had to spend a fortnight in the cooler on the basis of a “private complaint”, the question is going to asked, why should not Krishna resign till he is proven innocent? Will Krishna’s protestations of no loss to the government, or no gains for himself, convince the BJP? Is a private compliant all it takes to bring people in power down?
And, tongue firmly in cheek, if Krishna quits, who is going to read the Portuguese speeches for the UPA?