E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Who exactly is ruling Karnataka right now?
Exhibit A: The Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNREGS) guarantees employment in rural areas. Of the Rs 2,153 crore approved in the budget, districts in Karnataka have spent only Rs 1,265 crore—58% of the allocated funds—despite severe drought.
Exhibit B: Studies have shown 37% of children are underweight, about 28% are undernourished, and 5.5% of children die of hunger before they reach five years. Prevalence of malnutrition in Karnataka in Raichur and other districts has reached epic proportions.
Exhibit C: The process of naming a Lok Ayukta to replace Justice Santosh Hegde is still going on months after he remitted office, even as minister after minister or official or other is caught every now and then with mind-boggling income totally unrelated to his / her income.
Exhibit D: The ‘blue babies’, the 3 MLAs who were watching porn material while the legislative assembly session was on have already shamed the party, on top of all those caught in similar misdemeanours.
These are only few examples.
Despite all these major problems confronting the State and the ruling party, the only issue the BJP MLAs and BJP ministers seem to be interested in is: when will D.V. Sadananda Gowda pack up and go leaving the seat for B.S. Yediyurappa?
For this, dinner meetings spending lakhs of rupees are held, the ex-CM dashes in and out of either Benares or Vaishnodevi, burning tax-payers’ money as if he is just taking a stroll from his bed-room to drawing room. The Veerashaiva swamijis, who are ready to jump into this any time, have become willing partners in this plot.
Confabulations are held in resort after resort, plans are afoot to unseat the CM by hook or crook.
Here are five key questions:
1) Why are sanctimonious BJP and RSS leaders tolerating such natak from its political actors in Karnataka, week after week, month after month?
2) Why is BJP president Nitin Gadkari putting up with such an audacious and brazen lust for power, giving room for suspicion?
3) Now there seems to be a plan to bring in Jagadish Shettar, a Lingayat, to replace D.V. Sadananda Gowda, a vokkaliga, becasue Yediyurappa cannot become CM immediately. How can the BJP make such casteist moves so openly?
4) Why is the central BJP allowing the authority of present chief minister to be so openly eroded?After all they nominated him for the post after all sorts of discussions and he is the elected leader of the legislature party.
5) Why are leaders like the former future prime minister of India L.K. Advani and the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley mum on the subject? Can they unseat a CM and replace him with another against whom cases are still pending, no matter how much he hankers for the post?
BJP will again become a laughing stock if they bring back Yediyurappa due to coercion, religious and caste politics. The cases against him are still on and he has not been declared innocent. He is only out on bail.
Meanwhile, let the administration be damned in the State.
Photograph: Karnataka Photo News