With leaders openly pitting against each other trading grave financial misappropriation charges, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) bid to project itself as a political alternative insulated against corruption has suffered a serious setback in the State.
Though the State leadership attempted to push it under the carpet, the issue surfaced when a section of leaders raised serious allegations that the camp followers of a prominent State office-bearer had taken ₹7 crore for securing clearances from the Medical Council of India for a businessman who runs a private medical college.
Sources privy to the developments told The Hindu that a party commission that probed the charges could not garner any conclusive evidence and the businessman himself had reportedly informed the commission members that he does not have any complaint.
The entire build-up is reported to be aimed at spoiling the prospects of the office-bearer whose name has figured in party circles as the next State president. Though the commission and the party machinery had chosen to play down the issue, the allegations continue to fly thick and fast, seriously denting the party’s image in the State.
This is the second in a series of corruption charges that had rocked the party of late. Earlier, the chairperson of the Taxes Appeals Standing Committee in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation came under fire for allegedly doling out tax exemption to the Teajswini building on the Technopark campus, in violation of norms.
Though the councillor turned out to be the butt of the attack, prominent leaders came to her support and squarely held the district leadership responsible for the issue in which the Corporation suffered a loss of ₹4.92 crore. The district leadership’s alleged bid to place the onus on the councillor had also come in for criticism too. For, it had smeared the party’s image and also cast an image that the BJP is no exemption as what was being projected.
The party had made a bid to dismiss both graft charges as mere hogwash, but the critics of the present State leadership feel that the charges are nothing but the price the leadership had to pay for its complacency. The latest charges are likely to figure at the core committee meeting scheduled on Friday.