'On B S Yeddyurappa’s return to BJP, I personally do not have anything against anyone. However, his return and the acceptance show the honesty of political parties. Every one claims that they are holier than the other, but then when it comes to confronting corruption they are always overpowered by the vote bank,' Former Karntaka Lokayukta Justice Hegde says.
The return of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the inclusion of D K Shivakumar and Roshan Baig into the Congress cabinet in Karnataka have not gone down well with anti-corruption activists in the state.
Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santhosh Hegde, whose report on illegal mining forced Yeddyurappa to step down as chief minister, says that when it comes to the issue of corruption, all political parties are the same.
“Such actions only go on to show the honesty of political parties”, Justice Hegde tells Rediff.com.
Social activist S R Hiremath, who had helped expose the illegal mining scam in Karnataka, says that the inclusion of Baig and Shivakumar -- whose names figured in the multi-crore fake stamp paper scam and illegal mining scam, respectively -- is not in the right spirit.
“On one hand (Congress vice-president) Rahul Gandhi speaks about eradicating corruption and on the other hand the Congress in Karnataka inducts tainted ministers. Both these leaders will go to jail at sometime or the other. It appears that the Congress in Karnataka has succumbed to blackmail,” Hiremath says.
Justice Hegde says that if not for the Supreme Court and its Central Empowerment Committee, the mining scam would have been in the dust bin by now.
“Had it been left to the whims and fancies of the political parties, I am very sure nothing would have happened. Be it the BJP or the Congress or any other political party, nothing would have happened to the mining probe had the Supreme Court not intervened,” he says.
“On Yeddyurappa’s return I personally do not have anything against anyone. However, his return and the acceptance show the honesty of political parties. Every one claims that they are holier than the other, but then when it comes to confronting corruption they are always overpowered by the vote bank,” Justice Hegde says.
“In order to support illegal mining, parties can go to any length. They today are putting out stories of people losing jobs due to the ban on mining. They are blaming the report on mining and say that it is because of this that many are out of jobs. I am sorry to say that but this is not about human interest. One cannot earn a living on crime and illegal mining is a crime. What our parties are trying is to ensure that a crime continues over the years and then try and give it a legitimate status,” he notes.
Image: Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Sathosh Hegde, whose report on illegal mining forced B S Yeddyurappa to step down from the post of chief minister.