Columns, Point of View

A strong man gets his due, but BJP betrays a greed for one-party power. That’s dangerous for India

August 8, 2017

By TJS George

D.K.Shivakumar is Karnataka’s most formidable politician. He is also the most feared. There are many in Karnataka, including senior Congress leaders, who see him as a liability in public life. Currently the State’s Energy Minister, he is recognised by all as a muscle-man, fixer, campaign manager, crowd mobiliser, money bag and general go-getter who makes impossible things possible. He is actively into businesses unbecoming a political leader — real estate, construction, jewellery, mining, malls, education, transport.

It is said that Rahul Gandhi had named him as one of two Congress leaders who should be kept out of government. Indeed, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah formed his Cabinet without the two men. Within a few months, however, both men were handling key portfolios in the government. That was the power of internal manipulators in the Congress.

Shivakumar is so confident of his might that he flaunts his assets openly. His residence in Bengaluru is made up of two out-sized mansions, their pillars and parapets and windows and balconies glittering either in the sun or in the special decorative lights around. An ordinary citizen building such a residence would immediately attract Income Tax sleuths. In Shivakumar’s case, there was also the tidbit that his declared income had gone up from Rs. 75.5 crore in 2008 to Rs. 251 crore in just five years. The BJP Government in Delhi had a good opportunity to net him in straightforward cases and thereby win the appreciation of citizens who were tired of a politician gone so wrong so openly for so long.

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But they botched it. The timing made it clear that the raid on Shivakumar’s premises was a case of the party in power using the agencies of the government to serve the party’s political ends. By doing it so bluntly, the BJP helped Shivakumar achieve what would have been otherwise impossible — an element of public sympathy.

The politics of it all is so clear. The Gujarat Rajya Sabha election on August 8 has become a prestige issue for the BJP. The Congress’ sole candidate is Ahmad Patel, Sonia Gandhi’s faithful follower and a Congress brand. In its all-out bid to get Patel defeated, the BJP already poached Congress MLAs in Gujarat. (The going rate is said to be Rs. 15 crore per MLA). One of them was fielded in opposition to Patel.

A worried Congress sent its remaining MLAs for safe-keeping in Karnataka.

As it happened, Shivakumar was put in charge of taking care of the MLAs from Gujarat, presumably because a toughie strong man was needed to protect the MLAs from entrapment tactics by the BJP. The BJP, in its current mood of don’t-care about the niceties of democracy, then went for the jugular.

There is no doubt that the raids — five hours of questioning in the first round itself — and the seizure of cash, gold and documents rattled Shivakumar who never experienced, and never expected, anything of the sort in his life. It must have rattled several other Congress leaders in the State also because their cupboards too are full of skeletons. There are skeletons in plenty in the cupboards of BJP leaders, too, but they will have nothing to worry. For this is a case where the ruling party is determined to do things its way. Conventions and legalities are for the birds.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s protestations of innocence sounded like jokes. The raid on Shivakumar had nothing to do with the Gujarat election, he said. The resort was raided only to check out Shivakumar, he said. Four of the Gujarat MLAs at the resort contradicted that claim and said they too were questioned. They sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to ensure their safety now that CRPF men were at the resort.

Will the MLAs be intimidated and threatened into voting the BJP way in Gujarat? They are certainly scared. With the invincible Shivakumar threatened — and feeling it — will some Congressmen in Karnataka play safe by joining BJP as Karnataka goes to the polls in a few months? Winning Karnataka is a bigger prestige issue for the BJP than defeating Ahmad Patel — and 15 crore for a head is chickenfeed.

The BJP, of course, sticks to its line that its only aim is to end corruption. It does want to end corruption in Karnataka, West Bengal and Kerala. Corruption in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh is, of course, not corruption, it is nation-building. Please note the new normal in India: BJP or nothing.

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7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “A strong man gets his due, but BJP betrays a greed for one-party power. That’s dangerous for India”

  1. Sunil says:

    We don’t know if one party in power is bad for India! But it definitely seems to be bad for some corrupt people and their supporters! Some of the print and tv media seems to be concluding that the raid was vendetta politics, even after the fact that there is convincing evidence that such mammoth ride could not be planned is a few days! Freedom of speech allows them to spread such lies to serve their masters! Let’s assume that it was vendetta! Yet, after seeing do much money shown during the raid, roomful of high value currency hills, gold, silver jewelry, properties records, yet if somebody concludes that that DKS has earning public sympathy, then, nation is not in danger because of one party rule, but definitely in danger due to these media whores who are loyal to their corrupt masters! What did DKShi Achieve? A Nobel prize? He came out alive after 3 days of intense grueling! His supporters cheered him, nothing wrong!TV covered the activities minute to minute ! But, the same media that criticized demonitization, GST and every positive move this government made was adoring this spectacle and adding commentary that central government was undemocratic , implying that allowing people to make money through corruption and scams was the hallmark of democracy! As per them, Congress is synonymous to democracy! Lalu and Vadra are the true practitioners of democracy! For these crooks, democracy in in danger! We see that some of these media folks act like the pitbulls when this Givernment tries to act agaist their corrupt masters! That kind of loyalty by the media is hardefinitely is bad for india! No wonder all these people were happy when we had one or two scams every month for ten whole years under the mute PM !

  2. Syed Matheen says:

    Because of a mute PM we achieved highest growth rate even when the whole world was in recession even surpassing china. India got metro’s trains across nation.
    Current PM and Amit Shah is so clean, hence they have declared next CM candidate for Karnataka as our most beloved Yeddiyurapa, as he have only 20 corruption cases against him and served jail, no one is more eligible than him!!! Records as per Indian election commission, refer http://WWW.MYNETA.COM

  3. Syed Matheen says:

    Current government have complete majority, when they can take foolish decision like demonetization all of sudden,

    why cannot they bring an ordinance on Jan lok pal and implement it even after 3 years ???

  4. Vivek says:

    You are making it to be as if such things never happened under Congress for 70 years. You are just another wolf in the guise of a sheep.

  5. Syed Matheen says:

    Don’t just say immature sentence..
    Answer to fact
    Where is Jan lok pal even after 3 years ??
    If current government is against corruption and all efforts done to eradicate it, why they pose a corrupt candidate as next CM ??
    Or just pretending to be clean ??

    I am not asking something rubbish like 15Lakh nor bullet train with in 3 years being realistic not optimistic

    I am nor a congress men nor BJP, I am a citizen with immense respect for mute PM for his biography perhaps not the same for AICC president and AICC VP


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