BJP leader suspended for questioning Advani on corruption

LK Advani BJP flag
Bangalore, May 18: BJP state unit President Prahlad Joshi on Friday suspended Treasurer of the Karnataka unit, Lehar Singh Siroya, for his attack on party stalwart LK Advani.

He has also been relieved from the post of treasurer.

Siroya, an aide of former chief minister and Karnataka Janatha Paksha chief BS Yeddyurappa, in an open letter had alleged that Advani had compromised on corruption whenever it suited him.

Here is the full text of Lehar Singh's letter to Advani:


13 May 2013


Sri. L. K. Advani
National Democratic Alliance
New Delhi.

Respected Advaniji:


I was meaning to write to you ever since the Karnataka poll results were declared on May 8 and our party lost badly.

But, somehow I wasn't able to put pen to paper. My heart was filled with gloom and a strange inaction had seized me.

However, your blog of May 12 has provoked me to give expression to my thoughts.

Advaniji you are our seniormost leader. We, as party workers and functionaries, have always looked up to you for blessings, guidance and inspiration.

But your attitude towards the Karnataka unit of the party has been most strange. In your blog, yesterday, you have said that you would have been ‘surprised' if the party had won.

Instead of consoling us and sympathising with our loss you have insinuated us.

You have belittled our hard work. After all, losses and victories for a political party in an election are two sides of the same coin.

We win some and we lose some. But, for an elder, harping only on our mistakes, instead of leading us to introspection, is not such a gracious act.

It leads to confusion and cynicism among the rank and file of the party. This has hurt us badly.

Advaniji , in your blog, you have referred to Yeddyurappaji and his ‘unabashed' corruption.

You have reiterated that if the party had got rid of him the very instant he was found indulging in corruption, we wouldn't have been in such a pathetic situation today.

In the past, you have also said that with the exit of Yeddyurappaji the party has become ‘pure'.

I, as a humble worker, want to pose some questions to you on your perception of the malaise that has afflicted the Karnataka unit of the party.

Before I get into the details, let me tell you that you are being contradictory, partisan and shielding your own role in the decline of the party in the state.

In my opinion, if you were, in the past, as candid and uncompromising as today, we would have perhaps never reached this situation:

1. Since you talk so much about corruption, can I ask you if you ever asked Yeddyurappaji as to where did the money come from for the elections that brought us to power in 2008; the many by polls that were a result of ‘Operation Kamal' that ensured a majority for the government; as well as money for your earlier rallies and yatras? Why were you silent when all this was happening without hindrance?

2. In 2009 again, Karnataka delivered the biggest contingent (of 19 MPs) to the Lok Sabha. You were the ‘Prime Minister in Waiting' and we were all working untiringly to make your dream come true. Even at that point you never bothered to check where the money was coming from to get MPs elected. You seemed to be focused only on your life's ambition.

3. Then came the infamous ‘Hyderbad revolt' within the government and the state unit of the party. You may recall, this was led by the mining mafia. They held the entire party to ransom and the government was on tenterhooks for several days. You knew exactly what was happening and some of it even had your blessings. The negotiations to end the impasse were held not in the party office, but at your residence. The entire nation watched the reborn ‘Ironman of India' succumb before the mining mafia, who ran an illegal and immoral empire in the state. Can I ever describe to you the people of Karnataka hung their head in shame that day? Didn't that look like ‘corruption' or ‘compromise' to you?

4. Let me remind you what price the state had to pay as a result of the compromise worked out by you. For the first time in the history of the state, 64 senior IAS, IPS and IFS officers had to be reinstated in one stroke as a part of the peace formula brokered by none else than you. You might perhaps be aware that many of them are languishing in jail for their connivance with the mining mafia.

Many ministers were also dropped and portfolios too were altered. Do you think this did not affect the governance of the state? You know pretty well that when people of questionable integrity occupy positions of influence the cause of corruption is pretty well served. Advaniji, you always take a self-righteous position on corruption, without putting your own actions under the scanner. Is this correct?

I also take this opportunity to remind you that when a delegation of 10 senior leaders met you in early 2011 at your residence to tell that it was becoming impossible to run the government due to misdemeanour of the mining mafia and sought your intervention, you refused to intervene. Your silence at that time was deafening. The delegation included two of those who later became the chief ministers and one of them the state unit president. I was also a member of the delegation.

5. You always speak of ‘zero tolerance' towards corruption. But ironically, the compromise with the mining mafia was offered to you, then, as a ‘birthday gift.' Do I need to tell you where the mining mafia are today? Have you ever expressed regret for this compromise you forced on the government and the party in any of your blog entries or public speeches? Have you ever questioned Sushmaji on her long association with the mining mafia and the nature of that association which is a subject of drawing room and newsroom gossip? The mining mafia referred to her always as their mother and she basked in that affection for years.

6. Advaniji, you seem to be reminded of corruption when you think of Karnataka. It surprises me as to why you kept mum when a tainted Shibu Soren was being reinstated as chief minister in Jharkhand with our support.

7. Yes, you need to be congratulated for publicly raising the issue of Anshuman Mishra's nomination to the Rajya Sabha, but while raising this you forgot that his name was first cleared in the parliamentary board of the party, of which you are the seniormost member. By often raising party issues in public, do you realise how much embarrassment you put your own workers and functionaries through? Advaniji, it appears that you want to look tall morally, we understand your urge, but why do you want to spike everybody else and make them look so small. Please understand, these ‘small' people have also given their lives for the party.

8. Again, in the case of Anshuman Mishra your memory was selective. I think you should have applied the same principles when the party endorsed the candidatures of other businessmen like Vijay Mallya.

9. May I also take this opportunity to remind you that when the party decided to oppose the UPA government's nuclear policy in 2008, a couple of MPs from Karnataka were unwilling to toe the party line. Forget toeing the party line, they were even unwilling to board the plane to Delhi to attend Parliament. You are aware that the party had to buy the support of these two MPs. Your pointsman in Karnataka was the one who was negotiating their support. You highlight Yeddyurappaji's deeds of corruption, but was this any less corruption? Was this not about sabotaging the democratic system? If you endorsed this, then how can we claim that a moral gap exists between the Congress and us.

10. Even more disturbing Advaniji are the charges that Congressman Digvijay Singh made on national media a few months ago, against your daughter. To this day there has been no rebuttal of those charges. Why? When party workers talk of your daughter's extra constitutional interests in party affairs and in party-ruled states, what do we make of it? As a forthright man, don't you think you should clear the air on this? Don't you think you should live by the principles you preach others?

11. Sometimes, Advaniji you end up thinking that you are the party and make mistakes that are inexplicable. I want to draw your attention to the black money saga in Parliament. Why did you, out of turn, apologise to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi when a task force set up by the party on the issue was still seized of the matter? Did you not let down the party then? Was this not about condoning corruption? Were you more important than the party?

12. You speak of the party being cleansed after Yeddyurappa's exit. But do you realise how many tainted people were given tickets by the party during the current elections? Do you also realise that you sat next to some of these tainted people during your lacklustre rallies when you came down to campaign in the state? As a former home minister you should have had sufficient intelligence input to avoid these tainted characters. It was this kind of intelligence failure that affected your tenure as India's home minister.

13. One final point Advaniji. At the National Executive held at Talkatora, during your valedictory address, you said you saw the image of Atalji in Sushmaji. This, many of us workers and functionaries thought was going a little too far. Can anybody be compared to Atalji in the party? We know you have a very special corner for Sushmaji in your heart, that is your private affection, but kindly desist from comparing her to an icon like Atal Behari Vajpayee in future. This is because she is perceived as the ‘god mother' of the mining mafia in Karnataka by the entire nation.

Advaniji I sincerely seek clarification on the points raised here and some of us party workers and functionaries from Karnataka would like to meet you in person to register our unhappiness. Kindly give us an appointment on day of your convenience. This is an intra-party affair and please understand that we continue to hold you in high esteem and you are the guiding light of the party.

Sincere regards,

Lahar Singh Siroya

Copy to:

1. Shri Rajnath Singh Ji, President , BJP.

2. Shri Ramlal Ji, General Secretary, BJP

3. Shri Dharendra Pradhan, General Secretary, BJP

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