Sunday, May 19, 2013

Karnataka MLC’s letter exposes Advani/BJP’s hollowness on corruption….Modi responsible for leak????

The letter written by Lehar Singh Siroya to Advani got him sacked. What was there in the letter that made the party take such a drastic step? Does it mean that there is zero tolerance in the party for “viewpoint plurality” (rather than for corruption)? Can the party simply not discuss its internal problems, and handle charges against its seniormost leadership without exerting authoritarian measures? The answer is that the contents of Lehar Singh’s letter are indeed damning; and shows both Advani and Swaraj in poor light. While the letter is damning enough, it also begs me to ask another question: Who is behind the leak of this internal letter? Is it Modi, considering how much he benefits if Sushma Swaraj and Advani are cut to size? There is more than a small reason to believe this theory.

What has Lehar Singh written that has embarrassed the BJP so much that they had to sack him? Check out some of the most explosive stuff (reproduced verbatim from the letter available at

Since you talk so much about corruption, can I ask you if you ever asked Yeddyurappaji as to where did the money come from for the elections that brought us to power in 2008; the many by polls that were a result of ‘Operation Kamal’ that ensured a majority for the government; as well as money for your earlier rallies and yatras? Why were you silent when all this was happening without hindrance?”. Good questions indeed. Of course Advani knew there was illegal money funding his party’s election in the state in 2008. What is Operation Kamal? How did this operation ensure a majority for the BJP in Karnataka? Did they buy out the voters, and their leaders?

In 2009 again, Karnataka delivered the biggest contingent (of 19 MPs) to the Lok Sabha. You were the ‘Prime Minister in Waiting’ and we were all working untiringly to make your dream come true. Even at that point you never bothered to check where the money was coming from to get MPs elected. You seemed to be focused only on your life’s ambition”. Aha. This is a direct attack on Advani. So were the 19 MPs “funded” by illegal money power? All this illegality to make Advani PM? Is this not the real cash-for-votes scam? And they accuse the real PM of it?

Then came the infamous ‘Hyderbad revolt’ within the government and the state unit of the party. You may recall, this was led by the mining mafia. The negotiations to end the impasse were held not in the party office, but at your residence. The entire nation watched the reborn ‘Ironman of India’ succumb before the mining mafia, who ran an illegal and immoral empire in the state. Didn’t that look like ‘corruption’ or ‘compromise’ to you”? And then a little later “Advaniji, you always take a self-righteous position on corruption, without putting your own actions under the scanner”. We need details, but clearly the man (and the party) that wants to take a higher ground on corruption is itself soaked in it. Looks like Advani has been part of the mining mafia since long.

Its not like it was just a single incidence of condoning corruption. “I also take this opportunity to remind you that when a delegation of 10 senior leaders met you in early 2011 at your residence to tell that it was becoming impossible to run the government due to misdemeanour of the mining mafia and sought your intervention, you refused to intervene. Your silence at that time was deafening”. So while Advani was holding up Parliament over corruption, he was meeting his leaders at his home and condoning corruption repeatedly?

You always speak of ‘zero tolerance’ towards corruption. But ironically, the compromise with the mining mafia was offered to you, then, as a ‘birthday gift.’ Have you ever questioned Sushmaji on her long association with the mining mafia and the nature of that association which is a subject of drawing room and newsroom gossip? The mining mafia referred to her always as their mother and she basked in that affection for years”. And then later in the letter “We know you have a very special corner for Sushmaji in your heart, that is your private affection, but kindly desist from comparing her to an icon like Atal Behari Vajpayee in future. This is because she is perceived as the ‘god mother’ of the mining mafia in Karnataka by the entire nation”. So this is the kind of birthday gift Advani likes?! Also, everyone knows Swaraj has been a big part of the mining racket. Do keep this attack on Swaraj in mind, for a later discussion on Modi’s possible role in the leak of this letter.

And then the most direct and damning evidence of the cash used by the BJP to impact the Indo-US nuclear deal vote in Parliament: “May I also take this opportunity to remind you that when the party decided to oppose the UPA government’s nuclear policy in 2008, a couple of MPs from Karnataka were unwilling to toe the party line. Forget toeing the party line, they were even unwilling to board the plane to Delhi to attend Parliament. You are aware that the party had to buy the support of these two MPs. Your pointsman in Karnataka was the one who was negotiating their support. You highlight Yeddyurappaji’s deeds of corruption, but was this any less corruption? Was this not about sabotaging the democratic system? If you endorsed this, then how can we claim that a moral gap exists between the Congress and us”. Oh my god. This is outrageous. Clearly shows that the party used money power. Clearly shows that it was using its Karnataka unit and Yeddy as some sort of an ATM. The BJP’s first government in Karnataka was corrupt to the core….

And then more attacks on Advani’s tolerance for corruption: “You speak of the party being cleansed after Yeddyurappa’s exit. But do you realise how many tainted people were given tickets by the party during the current elections? Do you also realise that you sat next to some of these tainted people during your lacklustre rallies when you came down to campaign in the state? As a former home minister you should have had sufficient intelligence input to avoid these tainted characters. It was this kind of intelligence failure that affected your tenure as India’s home minister”. So much for the party’s stand on keeping the corrupt out….

One last point. The BJP often asks this question when discussing the Congress’s alleged deeds of corruption: “Who gains from all this?” pointing a finger at the Congress. Well, I want to ask “Who gains from this leak” and the finger can only point at Modi. Two of Modi’s fiercest internal competitors for PMship are Advani (who refuses to retire) and Swaraj (who is keeping low while Modi burns himself up). With this leak, Modi surely hopes that Swaraj will be cut to size. And now that Gadkari and Shivraj Singh Chouhan (in both of whose cases, Modi’s hand is suspect) have also been condemned, Modi’s the lone candidate left for the top job? Clearly, Modi is one scheming politician; one who cannot tolerate dissidence, and competition….

The real truth is one that I have made often. There is a huge credibility gap between the BJP’s public posturing on corruption and its reality. This comes out again and again. When its two Presidents had to be sacked for corruption; when its most vaunted CM Modi conspired to not have a Lok Ayukta in his state for 8 long years; when the MP CM doles out land at concessional rates to his family members… comes out again and again. Its time the BJP introspected…..but can it with leaders like Modi around????

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