Sunday, February 7, 2010


The accord concluded between Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa and Gali Janardhana Reddy was described by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the birth day gift to L.K.Advani. This reflects the state of affairs in the BJP which ruled the country earlier. While the state is gripped under flood havoc, the BJP leadership is bogged down in resolving the internal feud within the party that has nothing to do with the interests of the people. A similar blackmail was unleashed on the congress high command by supporters of Jagan Mohan Reddy. But, the Congress leadership at the centre refused to bow down before the power acrobatics demonstrated by the Jagan camp. On the Contrary, the BJP which is expected to be driven by ideology and cadre succumbed to the money power mined out of Bellary iron-ore fields.

Not with-standing this abject surrender to political blackmail powered by illegal wealth; The BJP describes this ignoble accord as birthday gift to the octogenarian leader.

The Karnataka episode has not just revealed the internal bickering within the Karnataka state BJP, but, it revealed to the world the weakness of BJP central leadership. There were reports that some central leaders have business relationship with Gali brothers. Perhaps this is the reason why the deal brokered by the central leadership has stripped off the chief minister from the powers to contain the money and mine mafia. The only face saving for the BJP is the retention of Yeddyurappa as the chief minister.

This is not a defeat for mining mafia. Gali brothers wanted a regime that would cooperate with its politico- business empire. They hardly bother who will be in the chief minister post. The demand for the resignation of chief minister was only the bargaining chip used by Gali brothers to further their politico – business interests.

G.Janardhana Reddy and his brother G. Karunakar Reddy are ministers in Karnataka cabinet. These ministers claimed that they had the support of more than 50 MLAs. In their crusade against chief minister, they got the support of Speaker and a former union minister who have their own reasons to oppose Yeddyurappa. Thus, the first ever BJP government in the south India got into trouble.

The Hindu in its editorial on November, 09, 2009 aptly summed up the terms of the deal arrived between the warring factions of state BJP under the guidance of central leadership. They are “upright officials, including the chief minister’s principal secretary V.P.Baligar , have been transferred; Rural development minister Shobha Karandlaje …, is to be dropped; transfer of officals in Bellary, and Gadag districts believed to be close to the Reddy brothers will be partially rolled back; the proposal for a tax of Rs. 1000 per truckload of iron ore or other minerals will be abandoned…”

The contours of the deal clearly shows the capitulation of BJP central leadership before the money power of mining mafia. This will not be the end of the story. The triumphant Reddy brothers will continue to rule the Karnataka politics and the entire governance will be pressed into the service of the mining mafia. The BJP lost the moral high ground in politics.

The influence of money power in politics is nothing new. But, the ugly spectacle in Karnataka shows how the money and mine mafia can hold the entire government to ransom. It also proved how this mafia can take control of a national party like BJP. The honorable recourse for the BJP in this situation would have been sending a clear signal to Gali Janardana Reddy and his lobby that the party is not scared of going to people. But, by succumbing to mining mafia, the BJP has once again proved that it is not a party with a difference.

The Bellary mining mafia is deeply entrenched in politics. It has been trying to dominate the politics in Karnataka as well as Andhra Pradesh. The Reddy brothers who had become a menace for the BJP government in Karnataka were in league with the congress leadership in Andhra Pradesh.

Democracy should be saved from the influence of the money and mining mafia by containing the spread of corruption. The mafia which has been eating into the vitals of the various states’ owned mines would go all out if the mining rights were granted to them thus adding to their money power in politics. The bill on mining regulation pending in parliament was intended to give away the blocks of precious raw material deposits such as iron ore, coal, barytes and uranium for private mining. This would have far reaching implications for both the political and economic scenario.


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