The Sangh Parivar, known to present a united front in public, appears to have divided on the arrest of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Vishvesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Math, Udupi, told The Hindu: “The courts in the country have become very active. This should instil fear in the hearts of corrupt politicians. This is a good sign for the common people and bad news for corrupt politicians.”

The former MLC and senior RSS leader K. Narahari, however, said that Mr. Yeddyurappa had become a “victim of vested interest groups”, though adding a caveat. “Those in power should have unquestionable integrity and the corrupt should be punished.”

Another RSS strongman from coastal Karnataka Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat said: “I have known Mr. Yeddyurappa for long and I have a lot of respect for the work he has done in the grassroots both as an RSS worker and as a BJP leader. But today, the situation is such that it is tough to gauge a politician's integrity.” He also sought to distance himself from Mr. Yeddyurappa and said: “Ours is strictly a social service and nation-building organisation. It has nothing to do with politicians or politics.”

M.B. Puranik, convener of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts, and Kasaragod said: “Many people in the coastal districts are unhappy as they feel that Mr. Yeddyurappa has been made a scapegoat.”

‘Law is same for all'

The views of Sharan Pumpwell — widely regarded as Mr. Puranik's protégé, principal accused in the September 2008 church attacks and senior Bajrang Dal leader in-charge of five districts — differed from his mentor. “This verdict shows that the law is the same for everybody. It has restored the faith of people in the judiciary,” he said.

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