Having moulded the BJP into a formidable force in Karnataka and formed the first saffron government in the south, BS Yeddyurappa, former Chief Minister of the state, was sent to judicial custody for a week in connection with the land scam. The dramatic fall from grace of Yeddyyurappa has dented the BJP’s anti-graft crusade. It is right that leaders besieged with scams and scandals must be brought to book, despite their stature and political clout. In our country, if any leader is involved in scams and scandals, he or she has to simply step down. This is not justified. If anyone is tainted with practicing graft or flouting rules and regulations, he should be subjected to face course of law. This could check political corruption and a message will be aired that no one can take undue advantage of being in power. Right now, it is difficult to say that allegations leveled on Yeddyurrapa has been proved right and he has got punishment for his wrongdoings. For the time being he has been put behind bars because Lokayukta court has observed that he could doctor the evidences by staying outside the jail. Time will say if the allegation made on him is proved right or wrong. Yeddyurrapa has been blamed for not only providing chunks of land to his kith and kin illegally but also conniving unlawful mining. Regarding the land scam, he gave his logic that he followed the path laid by his predecessor. This proposition vividly indicates how our leaders bend the rules with impunity.

It would not be fair to say that Advani’s anti-corruption campaign, Jan Chetana Yatra, will get jolt from the arrest of Yeddyurappa. As there is nothing wrong in taking action against tainted leaders, so no political party should feel pinched. A crusade against corruption and action against corrupt leaders are quite different. If the Congress has its feeling that there is now no significance of Advani’s yatra with the arrest of Yeddyurappa, it will be its big folly. The Congress should not shy away from the fact that it also talks big about removing corruption while its many leaders are involved in graft in some way or the other. It is quite dismay that sending Yeddyurappa to the jail has sparked off verbal skirmishes between the Congress and the BJP. Instead of mudslinging, both the Congress and the BJP should mull over removing the factors which rot the system and make people corrupt.