Admitting dissensions within BJP-ruled Karnataka where the party is on the back foot on the issue of corruption, BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday said the problem cropped up as the party dealt with graft firmly.
He also said that corruption has to be dealt with firmly whether it is the Congress or in BJP.
Mr. Advani, who arrived in Goa from Karnataka on Tuesday as part of his yatra, told reporters that the BJP was facing dissidence in Karnataka due to the party’s “non-tolerance towards corruption”.
“The problem in Karnataka is because of the party dealing with the corruption issue firmly. Therefore, I don’t regret anything. We have to deal with corruption firmly. Whether it is in Congress or in my party,” he said.
Asked about the party’s action against two senior ministers against whom fresh FIRs were registered by Lokayukta Police last week, Mr. Advani simply said, “The law will take its own course. We do not mind it. And, particularly if Lokayukta is an issue, it has to be respected.”
The party has been on the defensive due to registration of yet another FIR against state Minister for Large and Medium Industries Murugesh R Nirani. Mr. Advani did not face the media in Karnataka and cancelled both the scheduled press meets in Bangalore and Mangalore, in an obvious bid to avoid uncomfortable questions on corruption in the State.
The Lokayukta Police booked Mr. Nirani, his brother HR Nirani and seven others last week on the eve of Mr. Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra entering the state.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is already in jail after he was arrested for involvement in a case of land denotification. Another former Minister Gali Janardan Reddy is facing charges of corruption in an illegal mining case.
Serving Home Minister R Ashoka in the BJP-led Government in the State is also facing graft charges.