Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader L.K. Advani’s visit to Bangalore was always likely to be the toughest stop on his nationwide anti-corruption tour. And so it proved to be.
B.S. Yeddyurappa. Photo by Hemant Mishra/Mint
With four Karnataka ministers, including former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, in jail, Advani’s public meeting in Bangalore on Sunday was also conspicuous by the absence of supporters of Yeddyurappa, many of who are embroiled in corruption cases.
In the past four months, eight present and former state ministers have been charged in cases of corruption, of which four have been put in jail. The eight facing corruption cases are alleged to have caused a loss of Rs 125 crore to the exchequer, and made Rs 848 crore in financial benefits, according to calculations by ‘Mint’. These figures could go up as the investigation into the cases progresses.
Also See | Charges against ministers indicate Rs,125 cr loss to Karnataka (PDF)
For instance, the report by the state anticorruption ombudsman, Lokayukta, on illegal mining estimates that Rs 15,000 crore worth of iron ore has been illegally mined in the last few years. Leading the list is Yeddyurappa, who has six cases against him. His decisions are alleged to have cost R910 crore to the exchequer, while his family and aides are alleged to have benefited to the tune of Rs 256.09 crore.