This time Yeddy turned to the law and not the Gods

B S Yeddyurappa who was sent to judicial custody yesterday is known to be a God fearing man. Yeddyurappa who can be safely classified as the most God fearing Chief Minister of this country had always been seen at temples each time he faced a crisis in the past. However this time around very surprisingly the former Chief Minister relied entirely on legal help and during those moments before his surrender he sat put at his home and did not even think of visiting a temple as he would normally do.
In the morning the Lokayukta court rejected his bail plea and issued an arrest warrant against him. Yeddyurappa who was watching the news from his home decided to stay put in his house. He immediately asked his secretary to call his entire legal team and also a few high ranking police officials who were close to him when he was the Chief Minister. While the Lokayukta police went to the court to collect a copy of the warrant, Yeddyurappa was immersed in discussions with his team. According to one of the members of the team, the police officials close to him advised him to go underground and only surface once the bail plea was filed before the High Court. However members of his legal team were not too keen about the same and felt that it could have a bad effect on the future of the case. Yeddyurappa himself was not too confident about going underground as he thought that he would be in more trouble if he did so. He even quoted the ongoing Yatra being undertaken by L K Advani and said that it could cause some embrassment to the veteran leader. In the meantime he is also said to have called up Advani and consulted him about the same. Advani too is said to have advised him to surrender before the police.
During the course of all these discussions, the Lokayukta police headed by Abdul Ahad had reached his residence. Normally they would barge into the house and carry out the arrest, but they too decided to wait for him to come outside. They did not want to be too harsh with him considering that he was a former Chief Minister and still a very influential member in the BJP which runs the government in Karnataka.
During this wait another discussion came up and that was whether he should surrender to the police or the court. However all his advisors suggested that he goes before the court and surrnder himself. If he had gone before the police it would have technically still meant an arrest and this would have been very embarassing for him.
Yeddyurappa looked relaxed when he finally came out in the open. However within the four walls of his house he was quite a picture. He was extremely nervous and surprisingly the very short tempered Yeddyurappa was very soft too. He made a lot of calls and was frantically seeking advise from each and everyone he called. It is also said that he made a call to the famous Tumkur mutt which has the control over most of the Lingayats in Karnataka.
He played out this drama for nearly an hour and once it was decided that he would surrender before the court, he decided to make an exit through the back door of his house. The Lokyukta police who were waiting for him at the front door took a while to realise that Yeddyurappa had already left and was before the court. They then went before the court and completed the rest of the formalities.
Yeddyurappa who was taken into judicial custody however spent very little time over there. He is said to have vomitted following which he was shifted to the hospital. At the Jayadeva hospital he complained of chest pain and was admitted in ICU. Today the doctors say that they may need to perform an angiogram on him.
His legal team is all set to file the bail plea before the Karnataka High Court on Monday. Although it would be filed without fail they are attempting to see to it that the matter is taken out of turn. However it is unlikely that the matter may come up tomorrow itself and there is a possibility that it will be taken up on Tuesday.

Personality cult kills BJP’s southern dream

Photo courtesy: Daily Bhaskar

The arrest of former Karnataka Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa was a legal process but the bigger issue is that the BJP’s southern dream has been shattered at least for now. Yeddyurappa was no ordinary leader and even when he stepped down as the Chief Minister two months back the entire state had expected that he would return to power.
However today with his arrest the return to power seems highly unlikely. He may be out on bail, but the BJP which is going to town on the issue of corruption would not allow him to come back unless and until he is completely absolved of all the charges against him. Currently he is facing charges in a land scam case and very soon the case against him in the illegal mining case will catch up. According to normal legal procedures all these cases may easily take another five years at least to complete which means Yeddyurappa will have to stay out of the picture.
Now speaking about the southern dream of the BJP, Yeddyurappa had instilled hope in the party when he led the party to power in Karnataka.Everyone in Karnataka would say that it was Yeddyurappa alone who was responsible for the party to come to power. BJP insiders say that the man had become the face of the party and in fact was as famous as the Lotus in the state. The BJP had bigger plans where Yeddyurappa was concerned and the immediate directive to the man was that he had to provide governance so good that Karnataka turns into a model state in the two years that he is in power.
From here the BJP had headed towards Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and had thought of quoting Karnataka as an example. However things did not work out as planned and Yeddyurappa spent most of his time fighting the Reddy brothers, corruption charges and various rebellions from within the party. He was found to be more busy fighting the opposition than focusing on the developments of the state. Although it would be completely unfair to say that Yeddyurappa has done no good, the expectations that people had from him were not lived up to.
The bigger question is why the high command did not see this coming especially when they had in their mind a dream to rule the South. Some say that they gave Yeddyurappa too long a rope and did not cut him to size in the begining. This is something very unbecoming of the BJP since it has always proclaimed that the idelology of the party is always bigger than the person. Moreover the other issue was that the party was blinded by the fact that the dominant Lingayat vote rested only on the shoulders of Yeddyurappa and they felt that angering him would erode that vote base. In the bargain they encouraged a personality cult in Karnataka.
The BJP may have managed to save their government in Karnataka, but the problems ahead are nothing but immense. They do have leaders, but none of them can be termed as a mass leader. Each one is strong in pockets and it could be safely said that none claimed the kind of support that Yeddyurappa did. Today the BJP finds itself in a hopeless situation since the man who propelled their Southern dream became the one who shattered it even. The next two years will be very crucial. There is a lot of damage control. Not only will they have to win back the trust of all their voters but also ensure that there is a proper leader in place before the next elections. The Reddy brothers who have been the biggest funders of the party are also cut up after they were all denied a cabinet berth. The BJP has two camps and it was evident during the selection process involving the Chief Minister after Yeddyurappa stepped down. A few names do crop up within the BJP, but the bigger question is whether they enjoy the stature that Yeddyurappa had.
Yeddyurappa was different in many ways. He always played on his humble background which gave him an immediate connect with the voter. Even the discussions in the press club of Bangalore during the elections were centric to Yeddyurappa and most of the them felt that the man does have promise.
Those who have watched Yeddyurappa over the years say that they do not find this level of committment in any person within the BJP. He has been a loyalist since the Jan Sangh days of 1972. However his first association was with the RSS when he was working in a rice mill in Shikaripura. He joined the RSS in 1970.
His rise has been slow but very steady and during each election meeting he spoke about his struggle which again was an instant hit with the voter. In fact the manner in which he managed to whip up the sympathy wave during the last elections was something phenomenal. He had just presented a dream budget as the Deputy CM and Finance Minister in the JD(S)-BJP government and when it was time for him to take over as the CM, the JD(S) ditched him. This is something that propelled him to power. He had become the face of the party and even veterans such as Ananth Kumar expected Yeddyurappa to campaign for him during the parliamentary elections.
During his stint as the CM, he became more of a survivor than an administrator. This is where his downfall had begun and especially in the bigger cities his abilitites were being questioned.
I will return in six months time is what Yeddyurappa had said when he stepped down as the Chief Minister. Although each one in the BJP must be praying that this comes true, the fact remains that it remains a distant dream today.

T agitation-Govt gets tough

As the rail rokho enters into the second day, the Government of Andhra Pradesh is deploying every tactic under the sun to break the agitation. Sources in the government say that they cannot let normal life be affected to this extent and the time had come to resort to some tough measures. Starting today prohibitory orders have been imposed in the state and this would be in force until October 26th.
The biggest problem that the government faced was however the strike at Singareni where coal production had come to a halt as a result of which there has been terrible power shortage not only in AP, but also in the neighbouring states. However as of now there is some normalcy that has been restored as some workers from the neighbouring district of Kammam have reported to work at Singareni. These workers went back to duty after the government offered them three times the wage per day. Coal production has now started although not on a large scale and the government is hopeful that normalcy would be restored very soon.
The deadlock over the Telangana issue however continues and both the Government as well as the activists have not come to any sort of conclusion regarding the issue. They had hope that New Delhi would resolve the issue, but there have been no signals whatsoever from the capital regarding a resolution to the issue. However the message that the government is sending out at the moment is very clear and that is they would be tough regarding this issue and would do anything it takes to restore normalcy.
The Road Transport Corporation which had called off its strike owing to losses over Rs 2000 crore has now decided that it would join the agitation once again at a later date. Although officially they say that they did not want to cause further problems for the public, the real reason is that they wanted to make up for the huge loss they had incurred for being on strike for over ten days in support of the Telangana movement.
The AP government has also issued a warning to all schools and colleges to re-open by Monday failing which stringent action would be taken against them. They have also advised parents to send their children to schools and assured of all possible security.
Meanwhile the government has also gone ahead and booked several cases against the protestors and added that more would be booked today. The number of cases are likely to shoot up from today onwards since there are prohibitory orders in place. Yesterday seven MPs from the Congress and one from the TRS were taken into preventive custody.
While the government gears up for the bandh which has been called by the pro Telangana activists on Monday, there is also heavy deployment of forces along the railway tracks in the state. There have been reports of some activists removing the fish plates along the tracks. This has led to over a 100 trains being cancelled and 60 being diverted as it was reported that it would be highly dangerous to operate thanks to the ongoing agitation.

Yeddy in hospital

The legal team of former Chief Minister of Karnataka would apply before the Karnataka High Court on Monday seeking bail. A member of his legal team informed that the bail plea to be filed on Monday would also cite medical grounds as he has been admitted in hospital after he had complained of chest pain.
The former CM who is facing corruption charges was remanded in Judicial custody on Saturday after a special Lokayukta court had rejected his bail plea and also issued an arrest warrant against him.
Yeddyurappa who was shifted to the Parapana Agrahara prison after he surrendered was however admitted to hospital this morning at 1.45 after he complained of chest pain. Yeddyurappa had been shifted by the prison authorities to the Jayadeva hospital in Bangalore. Prison authorities said that the doctor had recommended that he be admitted to hospital after he had vomitted a couple of hours after he reached the prison.
Meanwhile all preparations are being made by his legal team for the bail plea to be filed on Monday. They say they would push for an early hearing since he is in bad shape health wise. Moreover they would also state that he would be ready to cooperate with the investigation and hence it was not mandatory to keep him behind bars.

BSY- Back ache, bargain, surrender and now jail

B S Yeddyurappa former Chief Minister of Karnataka will spend time in the parapana agrahara jail, Bangalore until October 22. After a long wait the former CM accused in a land scam finally surrendered before the Lokayukta court which remanded him in judicial custody until October 22.
Yeddyurappa whose bail plea was rejected today went up before the Lokayukta court a while ago and surrendered himself. The court remanded him to Judicial custody.
The Lokayukta court had earlier issued an arrest warrant while rejecting his bail. Followinfg this the Lokayukta police had gone up to his house to arrest him.
The Lokayukta police led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Abdul Ahad reached Yeddyurappa’s home at the Race Course Road, Bangalore in a bid to arrest him.
However Yeddyurappa did not want to be picked up by the Lokayukta police. He excerced an option available before him to surrender himself instead. He had been saying that he would go before the Lokayukta court and surrender himself.
Meanwhile there were crowds outside Yeddyurappa’s residence. His legal team had advised him to excercise the option to surrender before the court instead of going along with the Lokayukta police. Their move to file an appeal also could not go through today since tomorrow is a holiday. Although the High Court has an entire day sitting today, it was not possible for them to file an appeal on such a short notice, a member of his legal team informed.
Yeddyurappa surrenders will be lodged in the Parapana Agrahara jail 20 kilometres from Bangalore. He would have company in Katta Subramanya Naidu who was a cabinet minister while he was the Chief Minister. Naidu is in jail in connection with another land scam.

Yeddy in big trouble

In a major set back to former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa the special Lokayukta court has rejected his bail plea. This would mean that he would have to be arrested by the police and sent to custody.
The special Lokayukta court was hearing a matter pertaining to a land scam case. the Lokayukta police have however not indicated the date as to when Yeddyurappa would be arrested. They informed that they are yet to get the warrant from the court. The warrant is likely to be issued soon and another hearing has been fixed for Tuesday.
In all there are 22 accused in the case including Yeddyurappa’s sons Raghavendra and Vijyendra. The sons have however got bail from the court today.
Yeddyurappa was however not present before the court. He was supposed to be present but at the last moment he stayed away on the ground that he had a back ache. He even produced a medical certificate through his lawyer.
The former Chief Minister’s legal team is now prepearing an appeal and in all probability they would be able to file the same before the High Court only on Monday.
Meanwhile at the High Court Justice B S Patil who was seized off the matter regarding the same case challenging the validity of the Lokayukta probe has recused himself from the case. He recused himself after the petitioner expressed that he had no faith in the judge.

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Justice Hegde hits back at K’taka Guv

Former Lokayukta of Karnataka, Justice Santhosh Hegde today hit back at the state government stating it was unfair of them to say that I have no knowledge of the law. Justice Hegde was addressing a press conference at Bangalore in which he reacted to the Governments decision to seek some clarifications regarding his report on illegal mining.

He said the provisions of the law had been followed while preparing the report. It is not right on part of the government to say that I am or was not aware of the law when the report had been prepared. I am well aware of the law.

Under the powers bestowed in the Lokayukta act there is a provision to recommend action. I have done just that. However it is the discretion of the government whether to act upon it or not. Regarding the clarification that I had not given an opportunity to any of the persons named in the report, all I can say is that the provisions have been followed as have been mentioned in the Karnataka Lokayukta Act.

The state cabinet had on Friday sought clarifications from the Lokayukta on certain aspects regarding the report on illegal mining. The government had stated that the Lokayukta had not given the persons named in the report an opportunity to present their case before he named them and also recommended action against them.

This move by the state cabinet was being questioned as it was largely believed that the Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda was planning to do away with the report in order to return the favour to B S Yeddyurappa who lost his chair due to this report. However the CM clarified that he was acting based on a legal opinion and not at his own will.

BKI-LeT nexus and the way ISI played it

It was an association that started in the year 2001 and today it has become lethal. The seizure of an explosive laden car headed towards New Delhi went on to show this was an operation staged by the Babbar Khalsa International with the help of the ISI.

As investigators continue to dig deep into the Ambala incident, the Intelligence Bureau has also sounded a general alert across the country and has stated that terror attacks could take place during the Diwali time. However while this is the alert sounded the Investigators are still looking into the Ambala haul.

While there has been a lot that has been said about the nexus between the ISI and the BKI, the more important part is the manner in which the two outfits came together on the basis of an ideology which they thought was similar in nature.

According to various dossiers on this issue the real nexus began a little before 9/11 and the mantra that was being chanted out in Pakistan was the historic links between the two groups. The ISI did sense the importance of having the Sikh militants along its side. However there was a desperate need to justify the roping in of these militants who had fled India after the Punjab crack down. The ISI and its affiliates such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba went on to make public speeches in a bid to convince the people about the similarity between their causes. Although not a single true Sikh in India would believe this ideology, for the ISI it worked well to convince their men of having to fight alongside the Sikh militants. The public speeches made at Pakistan at that point in time states that both the Sikhs and the Muslims had historic links and it was about time that the two came together and fight against India. Moreover the thrust was that both saw India as a common enemy.

The Sikh militants who fled India continue to remain on every dossier sent by India found themselves in a desperate situation. The ISI made good use of this and provided them every possible facility that they had sought for.

During the initial years of the affiliation between the two, the ISI provided several platforms to show the unity between the two. In the year 2001 there was a visit of the Sikh Jathas and it was during that visit there were very many meetings and public speeches that were made. It was during the same time the ISI created the Sikh Muslim Itehad Federation and this acted as the organisation to carry forward the devious plan against India. This organisation not only recruited cadres, but also was actively involved in the training programme. All along they had put on their radar cities such as New Delhi, Ludiana and Amritsar and the plan was to carry out large scale attacks. They even went up to the extent of carrying out major recruitment drives in rural Punjab. However they were slow to commence any sort of operation since the recruitment process was extremely slow and they did not manage to find the strength. The ISI wanted to ensure that it wanted only Sikhs as part of this group since they believe that only an ideologically charged individual would battle better.

The likes of Ranjith Singh Neeta are expert fighters and the ISI used the likes of him to impart training during the interim. Today he is a major force to reckon with and is actively involved in training Pakistani youth for the Kashmir movement.

The ISI even went a step ahead and also formed the Pakistan Silkh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. Ironically this was under the leadership of an ISI Lt General by the name Javed. The primary role that this committee formed was to invite Sikh youth from Punjab and then rope them in for their operations.  Today according to a dossier there are around 180 youth in Pakistan who wage this battle.

In addition to this there was the World Muslim Sikh Federation that was floated. There were members of the Dal Khalsa, BKI, ISI and Lashkar-e-Tayiba who were part of this platform. However this forum was political in nature and was aimed at spreading the ideology on a world platform so that they could dish out sympathisers for the cause. While this got some international attention another forum by the name International Sikh Muslim Friendship Organisation was formed. This had its offices in Germany, Italy and also the United Kingdom. What the dossiers state is that these organisations conducted several meetings involving the youth and the message that was conveyed is that their lives would be better only if Kashmir an Punjab were separated from India.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that the ISI has gone out of its way to provide for the Sikh Militants. The association is so close that some of the militant chiefs use the ISI offices situated in Lahore. The IB also says that the nexus is that close knit that both the BKI and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba share a common office at Nankana Sahib a town in the sub divisional head quarter of Shekhupura in west Punjab in Pakistan.

Cabinet accepts B Sriramulu’s resignation

The Karnataka state cabinet has accepted the resignation of B Sriramulu who had resigned a month back. Sriramulu had cited the appearence of his name in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining while tendering his resignation as the member of the Legislative Assembly.
He had embarked upon a state tour stating he would seek justice from the people. However the grapevine was that he had put in his papers in a bid to pressurise the BJP which had left him out of the Cabinet following the mining report. There was also talk that he had acted at the behest of the BJP brothers who had mooted the idea of floating a regional party. However these plans were shelved as Janardhan Reddy was picked up the CBI exactly a day after the resignation drama by Sriramulu.

The BKI-Let association comes to the fore again

The seizure of the car laden with explosives at Ambala last evening has had Intelligence agencies and the police department on its toes. While it has been by and large ascertained that the car was headed towards New Delhi in order to carry out a major explosion at Diwali time another intercept that has been slowly trickling in is that the operation may have been a joint venture of the Babbar Khalsa International and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

So the big question is whether this is a plan that has been foiled or is it a pre cursor of something more to come. There has been some very specific intelligence intercepts about the coming together of both these outfits. In fact a large number of militants of the BKI have been under the roofs of Pakistani militants for over a decade now. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the BKI has been seeking the help of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the ISI to regroup its modules so that it could carry out attacks on Indian soil.

After the major crack down on the BKI and the rest of the groups in Punjab most of the leaders fled to Pakistan. They have been training and also setting up their outfit under the care of the ISI. The ISI in fact has intentionally decided to very sparingly use these persons from Punjab. The interest of these militants has always been Punjab alone and once ready they would look to wage a war in that state all over again. However the ISI would use their cadres to strike at the epicentres such as the capital-New Delhi.

Going back to the Ambala operation the preliminary investigations would suggest that the explosives were held out for the BKI by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants in the Valley. The same was confirmed by Arun Kampani, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell.

However according to reports of the Intelligence Bureau both the Lashkar and the BKI would work in tandem in India. This operation gives the indication of the same. A couple of months ago there were related incidents in Punjab as well where explosives stocked by the Lashkar militants in the Valley were handed over to the BKI who were planning on using the same.

It would be interesting to go back to the interrogation of two BKI cadres Daljith Singh and Purushotham Singh who were arrested at Mohali a year ago. Their interrogation report makes it clear what plan their outfit had in store for India. During their interrogation they do give out details about how the two outfits have been working in tandem with each other. In fact they have even said the revival of militancy in Punjab is very much part of the much hyped up Karachi Project. The Karachi project basically is the coming together of various outfits affiliated with India who would in turn carry out a series of attacks across the country.

The interrogation of the two men had also suggested that their leader Paramjith Singh is currently in Pakistan and he is the one who has been controlling operations.

Until last year the BKI and its affiliates had not focused much on terror operations per se. They were more interested in setting up their modules and also pumping in infiltrators to strengthen their base. Although the epi centre of this problem lies in Pakistan, the BKI has made constant efforts to regroup in India and be less reliant on the Pakistan soil. Although the ISI claimed that the ideologies of both the Lashkar and the BKI matched a great deal the latter always used the Pakistan soil as a matter of convenience. They do realise that they need the help of a very strong force in order to re start operations in India. At the moment the training activities for these militants is all taking place in the Pakistani areas of Lakhpat, Chakwal, Gujranwala, Mianwali, Kot ,Peshawar, Attock, Shahidan Da Banga and Gulbarg.

 The BKI has had many a failed attempt in the past two years. There was a plot at Mohali that was foiled, several infiltration attempts were scuttled, the attack on the CWG too was a damp squib and today’s incident as per the on going investigations is also a failed attempt. However they can claim success in only one incident which occurred four years back at a theatre in Ludhiana. That was probably the first sign of the return of this militancy and it had become clear during the probe that it was carried out with the blessings of Pakistan based militants.

Intelligence agencies however warn that the alert is high around the Valley, Punjab and the areas around New Delhi. The BKI has been making various attempts and we would not completely rule out a slight possibility of a BKI trace in the recent Delhi High Court blast. The seizure has to be looked at in two ways. It could either be intentional as an attention diverter or it could be a genuine case which has been foiled, the IB points out. However what the police state is that going by the manner in which the BKI has operated, it is very evident that they would not go in for a small operation and their operations have always been on a very large scale.

Although India is aware of this problem the real issue lies with Pakistan as it has under their umbrella the likes of-

Wadhawan Singh Babbar: Chief of BKI, Ranjith Singh Neeta: Chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force, Paramjeet Singh Panjawar: Chief of Khalistan Commando force,. Lakhbhir Singh Rode: Chief of ISYF and Gajinder Singh: The leader of Dal Khalsa. All these men have their permanent addresses at Lahore since the past one decade.