Bangalore: In an irony of sorts, BJP leader LK Advani's anti-corruption yatra rolls into his party-ruled state on Sunday, where a former Chief Minister is lodged in jail and two other ministers face corruption charges.
On Saturday when state BJP leaders were engaged in hectic preparations to welcome the yatra, the enthusiasm was considerably dampened after the Lokayukta police registered an FIR against Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani, who is facing allegations of denotifying land in violation of rules.
Former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, credited with installing the first ever BJP government in the South after the 2008 Assembly election, is in jail following his arrest in alleged land scams.
In a development that would cause further embarrassment to the saffron party, BJP MLA Y Sampangi was sent to jail ojn Friday by a local court, which cancelled his bail after he was found guilty of threatening witnesses in a corruption case against him.
Home Minister R Ashoka Irani is also in trouble after the Lokayukta court ordered a probe on a private complaint alleging the minister's involvement in illegal denotification of land.
Advani's yatra, with an agenda of mobilising public opinion against corruption, also comes at a time when two former Ministers are in judicial custody following their arrest under provisons of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Former minister SN Krishnaiah Setty, who has been named as an accused along with Yeddyurappa in a land scam case, is behind bars. Another former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, who is currently undergoing treatment at a Mumbai hospital, is under judicial custody in a land scam case.
Former minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy has been imprisoned in Hyderabad for about three months now after CBI arrested him in connection with its probe into illegal mining.
Referring to corruption charges against party leaders in Karnataka, Advani had on Friday said that there was "no soft corner" in the party for any kind of corruption.
According to party sources, Advani, who is expected to reach the city late in the afternoon, will address a public meeting at the National College Grounds in the evening.
Police have thrown a tight security cover in the wake of detection of a powerful pipe bomb near Madurai on Friday, where he started the second leg of his yatra.
The yatra will travel through the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada on October 31 and November one and enter Goa.
Advani will also address public rallies at Mangalore, Udupi, Kumata and Honnavara.