Criminal cases filed against Yeddyurappa, Congress-BJP war hots up


Bangalore/New Delhi: Two criminal cases were filed against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party stepped up attacks on each other as the Karnataka shut-down against Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s sanction for his prosecution turned violent Saturday.

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A day after Bhardwaj gave permission to launch criminal proceedings against Yeddyurappa over corruption charges, two Bangalore-based advocates filed two complaints against BJP’s first chief minister in south India in a Bangalore court.

The advocates Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj have named Yeddyurappa, his two sons and son-in-law, among others, in the complaints urging the court to take cognizance and bring them to trial. One son, B.Y. Raghavendra is BJP Lok Sabha member from Karnataka.

Additional Civil Judge C. Hipparagi will hear the complaints Jan 24 when more complaints will be filed, the two advocates told reporters outside the court premises.

Filing of complaints came even as hundreds of BJP activists enforced the Karnataka shutdown by burning buses and stoning shops at several places to protest Bhardwaj’s sanction.

Schools and colleges were closed for the day and hundreds of people were stranded at bus and rail stations in Bangalore and major towns as buses went off the roads after many were either burnt or stoned at several places.

BJP members also took out rallies in Bangalore and major towns in the state. Bhardwaj’s sanction and the protest against it in Karnataka led to a war of words between the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and the BJP.

BJP central leaders ruled out Yeddyurappa’s resignation following the sanction and called Bhardwaj “an agent of the centre on a political agenda to destabilise the state government”.

“Democratically-elected Yeddyurappa has every right to continue in the post. The rights of the people of Karnataka and their aspirations cannot be usurped by an agent of the centre,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters in New Delhi.

Terming as unconstitutional the governor’s sanction to prosecute Yeddyurappa on charges of nepotism, senior party leader Arun Jaitley said that if this practise gains momentum, it will be very easy for central government to destabilise state governments.

Jaitley, who is also Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the governor by giving sanction for prosecution has created an adverse atmosphere against the chief minister and that his action was politically motivated

In Bangalore, Yeddyurappa also asserted that there was no need for him to quit and he will fight till the end to prove that he was honest.

But central Congress ministers hit back at BJP and strongly defended Bhardwaj’s action.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram flayed the BJP for taking to the streets to protest Bhardwaj’s order and said he was “disappointed that the BJP has raised the decibel level and has taken to the streets… This is not correct and is totally unacceptable.”

Defending Bhardwaj, the home minister said in New Delhi that the central government had taken note of the developments in Karnataka and it was not a unique case when a governor has sanctioned a chief minister’s prosecution.

“It is not the first time that a governor has given his sanction to prosecute a chief minister or a minister. The law in this respect is clear and well-settled,” Chidambaram said.

Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily slammed Yeddyurappa, saying the alleged corruption and nepotism charges against him are “on record” and Bhardwaj was well within his authority to sanction his prosecution.

“Corruption is on record, nepotism is on record,” Moily told reporters in Mumbai.

Yeddyurappa thanked the people “for the voluntary, peaceful and successful shut-down which showed their pent up anger against the governor’s action”.

The dawn-to-dusk shutdown ended at 6 p.m. and several shops opened and bus services in Bangalore city and across the state resumed.

The chief minister is likely to move the high court Monday challenging the sanction given by Bhardwaj and also filing of complaints by the two advocates in the city court.

“I am consulting my party leaders and legal experts and will take necessary steps to fight legally and politically the charges against me,” Yeddyurappa said.