A string of scams is being continuously unearthed in the country. The recent scams have been unveiled in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. A huge fund of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was mishandled in Uttar Pradesh. Owing to the colossal irregularities in NRHM, two Chief Medical Officers were killed and also a Deputy CMO died under mysterious circumstances in a jail. It is assumed that the malpractices in NRHM were going on for the past 5-6 years leading to swindling away of Rs 3,000-crore fund.

A scam in the form of illegal mining was going on in Karnataka for the last many years. According to Lokayukta report, Chief Minister Yeddyurappa and his kin and two ministers famously known as Bellary brothers are also involved in the scam. The state exchequer is estimated to have incurred a loss of Rs 1800 crore. The complete investigation reports of the scams in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have yet to come. It is surprising that scams are unearthed in our country when crores of rupees are siphoned off. It is also a reality that investigation of scam takes much time and the cases related to scams remain pending for long. It is not surprising that the scams in UP and Karnataka will also meet the same fate. Notably, if such situation prevails, it is difficult to punish the guilty.

The 2G scam and graft found in organizing the CWG games vividly indicate that irregularities could have been nipped in the bud. In both of the cases, a voice was raised against the malpractices, but no effort was made to stop it. It means that an arrangement has not been evolved in our country to insulate the system from any scam or if graft appears it would be stopped at its primary level. Owing to complex judiciary process, punishing the guilty is a cumbersome task and it is obvious that loss of state exchequer due to scam is never compensated. Despite the spate of scams and scandals in the country, the government is showing its lackadaisical attitude to check them. Be it dilapidated roads or illegal slum areas or encroachment over public land—all these wrongdoings are in practice under the nose of governance.

This is also a reality that there are huge irregularities in public welfare schemes run by the Centre and state governments and nobody comes forward to stop it until a big scam crops up. Despite it, no effort is made to implement the schemes effectively.  This is indeed the reason that many scams come up when there is an audit of government files. With the audit of government files, grafts are fished out, but the beneficiaries of the scam go at large. It is fair that some leaders, bureaucrats and executives of corporate world were put behind bar, but it is difficult to say that there will be no more scam in future. In most of the scams, leaders are generally involved, besides they are not keen on making such a system which will check any scam to happen.

The BJP is facing tough time after the involvement of its Chief Minister Yeddyurappa in the illegal mining in Karnataka. All eyes are at the BJP leadership. Till now, the BJP was pulling up the Centre in the wake of scams and scandals. Now the BJP has got opportunity to prove its zero tolerance for corrupt ministers. At present, the BJP seems to be defending the Karnataka Chief Minister, but mounting pressure from all quarters may corner to yield down. The BJP must know that backing Yeddyurappa might put the party in trouble. The BJP should remember that the Centre earned caustic criticism when it had delayed taking action regarding the irregularities found in the CWG games, 2G spectrum and Adarsh Society. The BJP had said that the Centre took action against the guilty of these people involved I scams because of all round pressure from the Opposition, citizens and the judiciary. So, why is the BJP reluctant to bring Yeddyurapp to book? The BJP cannot ignore that Lokayukta has pinned a serious blame on Yeddyurapp and his ministers. Moreover, the court declined to give relief to Yeddyurappa and his kin regarding the case of allotment of controversial lands. Under such circumstances, it would be better for Yeddyurappa to give up his post until he comes clean. If he does not do so, the BJP leadership should enforce pressure on him to step down.

After a week, the monsoon session of the Parliament will start and in this session, the issues of NRHM scam and illegal mining in Karnataka will surely come to the floor. It will be unfair if the ruling party and the Opposition while away time of the Parliamentary session by playing blame game on corruption. It would be better if they discuss earnestly so as to check all kinds of scams. Apart from scams, the Central government may face wrath in the monsoon session of the Parliament over price hike and Lokpal Bill. As the BJP itself is beleaguered with charges of corruption, the intention of the ruling-Opposition spat may be less, but it does not mean that a concrete step should not be taken to check scams. 
(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on July 24, 2011 translated by the English Editorial. The author is Group Editor of Dainik Jagran)