Tag Archives: B.S. Yediyurappa

B’lore journos, papers in mining scam report

As the epicentre of illegal mining that has already claimed a chief minister’s scalp, it was just a matter of time before the media in Karnataka too got embroiled in the dirt and grime of slush money.

And sure enough, Bangalore’s oldest English daily newspaper, Deccan Herald, carries a report today which swings the spotlight on journalists and others associated with journalism.

The news report, authored by Asha Krishnaswamy, shows payments made by a mining company to various individuals and institutions.

Among the identifiable names are those of two English newspapers (Deccan Chronicle and Bangalore Mirror). The initials which bear a likeness to two wellknown Kannada journalists, and an aviation company promoted by a media baron with print and TV interests in two States, are also on the list. Besides a “press club function” also finds mention.

The purpose for which the payments were made is not clear.

The documents showing the payments were allegedly seized by income-tax authorities from the managing director of one of the firms involved in “illegal mining activities”. They form part of the U.V. Singh report that was part of Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde‘s report that felled B.S. Yediyurappa.

Although no denomination is mentioned alongside the figures, a la the Jain hawala diaries, the Deccan Herald report says that it is “obvious” that is in rupees/ lakhs. All the 55 accused whose initials figured in the Jain dairies were acquitted.

Screenshot: courtesy Deccan Herald

Read the full stories: Illegal mining fed the tribe of bribe

Also read: ‘Editors are lobbying on behalf of corporations’

Bangalore journos named in site allotment scam

Only in India: 90% off for journalists!

Cash transfer scheme is already here for journalists

Media houses are sitting on plots leased at one rupee!

Anti-corruption campaigner’s “error of judgement”

The WikiLeak cable on the journalist who…

‘Editors, senior journalists must declare assets’

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A photographer’s delight strikes again (and again)

There is no other way to say this: the media will miss B.S. Yediyurappa. For three years and two months, the Karnataka chief minister was a photographer’s (and front page editor’s) dream come true, striking poses with his hands, legs, eyes, clothes and general demeanour.

(Thankfully, he has reassured us that he will be back in six months.)

There is also no other way to say this: still photography, especially news photography, is an absolute nightmare these days with television (and outsized advertisements) wrecking the scene. Rare is the photographer who manages to capture the present in a manner that might surprise posterity.

This superb frame, published by Kannada Prabha, in which Yediyurappa is adroitly pushing a laddoo into his successor D.V. Sadananda Gowda‘s mouth while simultaneously reining in his left hand and glowering at his arch-rival H.N. Ananth Kumar, is an exception.

It captures almost everything that has happened in the Karnataka BJP over the past week (and indeed in the past three years and two months, if not more), and it shows the tenuous relationships within the BJP, like perhaps no TV camera can. Or will.

Photograph: K.Ravi, courtesy Kannada Prabha

Also read: The best photos of Yediyurappa on planet earth

The hard life and tough times of beat journalists

Despite the exponential growth of media in recent years, few facilities have been created for mediapersons to cover public events of note, with their shirts intact.

Exhibit A, above, is the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore.

For years now, the governor’s house has been a beehive of political activity. Yet, journalists assigned to cover Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa‘s resignation from office following a Lok Ayukta report that indicted him in the Rs 16,000 crore illegal mining scam, had to operate in utterly chaotic conditions on Sunday.

Print and TV reporters had to elbow each other just to stand comfortably to hear the chief minister’s remarks, and camerapersons stood dangerously on traffic barricades and other perches to capture the action, while outside broadcasting (OB) vans were parked haphazardly on the busy road.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

In Bangalore, 14 parties for media in 36 months

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Although the size of the Karnataka market is smaller than Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Bangalore probably has the largest news media presence than the other three southern capitals and perhaps most other cities, barring Bombay and Delhi.

At last count, there were 14 major morning brands (eight English, six Kannada), five English business dailies, four 24×7 news channels (three Kannada, one English), and at least a dozen dailies in Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and even Hindi, besides a few evening newspapers.

On top of that, there are the correspondents of the various district  and “up-country” papers, magazines, and TV stations, and over a hundred photographers and videographers, plus publishers, proprietors and a handful of “resident editors” from the Press Club of Bangalore (PCB).

Even so, how big could the media contingent in Bangalore be?

One-thousand five hundred?

Yes, 1,500: That’s the number of “media-friends” that the B.S. Yediyurappa government would like to believe attended a party thrown by it on 27 June 2010 at a local hotel.

Numbers obtained by Vinayak Bhat Mooroor, a correspondent of Kannada Prabha, under the right to information (RTI) act and published by the paper on Saturday, show that the BJP government has thrown at least 27 parties (14 of them for the media) since coming to power in 2008.

While a bash for the IT-BT crowd at the Oberoi cost the government Rs 7,03,099 (75 pax), and a party in honour of an outgoing  chief justice of the high court cost Rs 5,58,000 (pax 120), the get-together for journalists last June at the Nalapad Pavilion hotel was the most expensive do, at Rs 11,04,775 (pax 1,500).

Keeping the journalists in good humour at these 14 parties has cost the BJP government Rs 20,21,924 since it came to power three years ago.

Incidentally, Kannada Prabha reports, tongue firmly in cheek, that Nalapad Pavilion does not have sitting space for the 1,500 people that are alleged to have attended the grand fete.

File photograph: A samosa, a slice of plum cake, a piece of badam burfi, half a dozen cashewnuts, and a paper napkin is laid out for media folk at a May 2011 event at the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore (Karnataka Photo News)

Also read: Why you didn’t see this picture in the papers today

‘Media houses are sitting on plots leased at Re 1’

The BJP general secretary and member of Parliament, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in an interview with Kunal Majumder of Tehelka magazine:

Q: [Maharashtra chief minister] Ashok Chavan has resigned after corruption charges. Will Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa follow suit?

A: Irregularities in housing societies are nothing new. The Adarsh Society scam shocked the nation because Kargil widows were duped. As far as Yeddyurappa is concerned, he has explained everything.

Hundreds of plots around the country have been given to big media houses in Delhi, Noida and Greater Noida on Re. 1 lease. What about them? If you want to raise a question on discretionary quota, then please check every allotment.

Read the full interview: ‘Congress record reeks of corruption’

A blank editorial, a black editorial & a footnote

When Indira Gandhi introduced media censorship as part of the Emergency in 1975, Indian newspapers ran blank editorials as a form of protest.

The Kannada newspaper Vijaya Karnataka, belonging to The Times of India group, runs a blank (and black) editorial today, in protest against what happened in the State legislative assembly on Monday, during the trust vote moved by the chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

And in white type set on 60% black, editor Vishweshwar Bhat writes this small footnote at the bottom:

“The unseemly occurrences in the assembly on Monday should make every citizen bow his head in shame. The manner in which our elected representatives behaved is unpardonable. They have dealt a deadly blow to democracy. While criticising this, we symbolically represent the silent outrage of the people in this form.”

Also read: B.G. Verghese on the introduction of Emergency

Kuldeep Nayar: Hindu, HT were the worst offenders in 1975

H.Y. Sharada Prasad: Middle-class won’t understand Indira

People, not the press, are the real fourth estate in India

Survival of tallest when politics hits a new low

Initially barred from entering the Karnataka legislative assembly to cover proceedings on the day the trust motion moved by the BJP government of B.S. Yediyurappa was coming up, television cameramen compete with each other to capture the chaotic (and shameful) scenes in Bangalore on Monday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News