With the Karnataka high court refusing relief to S M Krishna on an alleged illegal mining scam during his chief ministership, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday asked the Congress to show the door to the external affairs minister, as it had done to former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in the wake of the Lokayukta report indicting the state government.
"Krishna holds the sensitive portfolio of external affairs. After the order of the Karnataka high court, he should resign purely on moral grounds as his case will be investigated by the Lokayukta police," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He wondered whether the Congress will follow the example of BJP, which had asked Yeddyurappa to step down after the Lokayukta report indicted his government.
"They campaigned against him for two years. As soon as the report came, we asked him to resign, which he did," Prasad said.
But Congress downplayed the matter, saying it was a "normal legal process", on which the party had nothing to say.
"This is a normal legal process. I am sure Krishna and his lawyer will deal with the matter in accordance with law. There is nothing for us to comment on. Today the fact that is that there is no final verdict, there is going to be further appeal," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
In a setback to Krishna, the court ordered that investigation should continue into offences relating to dereservation of forest area in mineral-rich fragile zones.
Krishna, chief minister from 1999 to 2004, got some relief as the court quashed the charges of mismanagement of state owned Mysore Minerals Limited by him on the ground that "it does not constitute any cognisable offence and does not call for an investigation".