Trouble brewing for BJP govt after Bellary bypoll?
Since a growing number of ministers are facing various cases in court, congressis reportedly planning to launch an all-out attack on the BJP after the by-election dust settles
With ministers in the state falling prey to one court case or the other, the Congress is reportedly leaving no stone unturned to further compound the BJP government woes, particualry after the Bellary bypoll.
The Raj Bhavan on the other hand, is reportedly preparing the grounds for the soon to ensue political drama.
From Left - BJP Ministers Govinda Karjol, S Suresh Kumar, Former CM BS Yeddyurappa, VS Acharya, R Ashok, Jagadish Shettar, BN Bache Gowda, MP Renukacharya and V Somanna along with other ministers during a press conference in the city
With a current strength of 27 (of which seven berths are vacant) in Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda's cabinet, as many as five ministers are facing charges of corruption - mostly related to land scam - while many more are expected join the club of dubious distinction.
Already three BJP leaders have resigned from the cabinet and the precarious situation appears to have given room for the Congress to allegedly attempt such maneuvers.
"The upcoming situation post Bellary poll will definitely pose a huge challenge to the government as it exposes a divide in the BJP.
Apart from this, the number of cabinet ministers attracting corruption cases is increasing and this can be solid grounds for the Congress to question the very existence of the government," said V S Ugrappa, a senior Congress leader.
While he did not wish to comment about the role the Governor would play, Ugrappa said he was expecting H R Bhardwaj to be proactive, just as he has been in the past.
Already three BJP leaders, including B S Yeddyurappa, have resigned from the cabinet and the precarious situation appears to have given room for the Congress to allegedly attempt such maneuvers
Housing Minister V Somanna was the recent addition to the tainted list with Lokayukta special court ordering a probe against him yesterday, in a case related to identification of land in which former CM B S Yeddyurappa is a co-accused.
FIR has been filed against R Ashok, minister for home and transport, and Murugesh Nirani, industry minister separately in land de-notification cases.
Meanwhile, various criminal cases are pending against ministers C P Yogeswar, S A Ramdass and M P Renukacharya.
Ramachandra Gowda, Haratalu Halappa S N Krishniah Setty and Katta Subramanya Naidu, who were members of Yeddyurappa's cabinet, had stepped down owing to criminal charges leveled against them. While Ramachandra Gowda has been relegated to political oblivion, two others are out on bail.
Shobha Karandlaje, Jagadish Shettar, C M Udasi, Basavaraj Bommai, C C Patil, A Narayanaswamy and B N Bachhe Gowda are apparently potential candidates to see fresh cases registered against them and sources said that members of the legal fraternity were prepared with documents to petition the Lokayukta court against these ministers, which would further create a crisis for the government.
"Such a situation will arise, wherein a majority of the cabinet members will be in the dock as accused. It is something unprecedented.
Apart from creating a constitutional crisis, it would a pose serious ethical challenge to the government and would be case for the Governor to act upon," said Nitin R, one of the lawyers appearing for the petitioners who filed corruption cases against Yeddyurappa.
While he said constitutional breakdown of machinery was the reason for the dismissal of the government under article 356, Nitin did not rule out the possibility of the government defining the arising situation as an additional cause.
While highly placed sources in the Raj Bhavan are indicating that this is the lull before the storm, some of the senior Congress leaders are reportedly advising restraint, as overthrowing the government could give a political advantage to the BJP and the party might go to polls riding on a sympathy wave.
"The way things are going in the BJP, one need not do anything to disturb the government, it will fall on its own. Why take the blame by murdering a person who is ready to commit suicide," said a senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity.
However, he added that the increasing number of tainted in the cabinet was an issue potential enough to trigger the onslaught.
Stepped down on corruption charges
Yeddyurappa resigned as CM after he was indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
Ramachandra Gowad was medical education minister and resigned after media exposure on irregularities committed in recruitments for medical colleges.
Krishniah Setty and Katta Subramanya Naidu stepped down as ministers after criminal cases were filed against them in separate land scams.
Haratalu Halapppa put in his papers after he was accused of raping his friend's wife.
Ministers facing charges
Investigation ordered against V Somanna, while cases are pending against R Ashok and Murugesh Nirani in separate cases of land scam.
A case of attempt to murder filed by nurse Jayalkashmi against M P Renukacharya is pending in the court. C P Yogeswar and S A Ramdass are fighting separate cases of land scam in the court.
Ministers in the line of fire
Corruption charges are likely to be levelled against Shobha Karandlaje, Jagadish Shettar, C M Udasi, Basavaraja Bommai, C C Patil, B N Bachhe Gowda and A Narayanaswamy.