The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday suspended its MLC Lehar Singh besides removing him from the post of the State treasurer after he shot off a letter to veteran leader L.K. Advani directly confronting him over his alleged “changing postures” on corruption issue as well as his remarks that he would have been surprised if the party had won in Karnataka.
In the letter dated May 13, Mr. Singh — who remained in the BJP despite being close to Mr. Yeddyurappa — termed Mr. Advani’s attitude towards the party Karnataka unit as strange and not gracious. “Instead of consoling us and sympathising with our loss, you have insinuated us and belittled our hard work,” he said. Attacking the veteran leader for his remarks that the party would not have been in a pathetic situation if it had got rid of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as soon as he was found indulging in corruption, he said: “You (Advani) are being contradictory, partisan and shielding your own role in the decline of the party in Karnataka. In the past, if you were as candid and uncompromising as today, we would have perhaps never reached this situation.”
Confronting Mr. Advani’s stand on corruption, Mr. Singh said: “Since you talk so much about corruption, can I ask you if you ever asked Yeddyurappa as to where did the money come from for the elections that brought us to power in 2008; the many bypolls that were a result of operation lotus 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?”
He said: “In 2009, 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 focussed only on your life’s ambition.”
Mr. Singh alleged that a part of the infamous Hyderabad revolt against the party and the government triggered by the Bellary mining lobby had Mr. Advani’s blessings. “The negotiations to end the impasse were held not in the party office, but at your residence. The entire nation watched the “Ironman of India” succumb before the mining mafia. Didn’t that look like corruption or compromise to you?,” he remarked.
He wondered why Mr. Advani had not expressed regret over the compromise with the mining mafia while maintaining that 64 senior IAS, IPS and IFS officers had to be reinstated in one stroke as part of the peace formula brokered by Mr. Advani with the mining barons. Accusing Sushma Swaraj of being perceived as godmother of the mining mafia, he took exception to Mr. Advani stating that he saw the image of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in her.
Seeking clarifications on these issues, he said some of the party workers from Karnataka including himself would like to meet him personally to register their unhappiness.
Reacting to his suspension, Mr. Lehar Singh told The Hindu that: “The party’s action shows that it is not ready for a proper introspection. It is like breaking the mirror if their image is not good”.