BJP celebrates as court acquits Yeddyurappa in graft case

Rajat Kain

 

File photo of BS Yeddyurappa Photo - PTI

File photo of BS Yeddyurappa
Photo – PTI

Karnataka’s former Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa is a relieved man. A special CBI court on Wednesday acquitted him in Bellary Mines corruption case, which had jolted his political career in 2011. Yeddyurappa’s two sons and son-in-law have also been acquitted in the alleged corruption case.

“Justice is done… I stand vindicated,” Yeddyurappa reacted after the verdict.

Facing grave allegations of misusing his official position as a CM and accepting Rs 40 Crore kickback to allow illegal mining, Yeddyurappa was forced to resign in August 2011. He had also spent nearly three weeks in jail before getting out on a bail.

Prior to the case in CBI special court, he was indicted by Karnataka’s Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for colluding in illegal iron-ore mining in state’s mineral-rich district of Bellary. Following the ombudsman report, Yeddyurappa faced massive protest by the Congress party, which was in opposition then.

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On a sticky wicket and his party’s top leadership under severe pressure, Yeddyurappa, BJP’s first Chief Minister in any south Indian state, stepped down.

Following his resignation, the local BJP unit in Karnataka too suffered as irked Yeddyurappa left his parent party to float his own outfit Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP).

The result of his exit was reflected in the 2013 assembly polls in the state where BJP lost heavily folding to just 40 seats in 224-member house. Though, his own party could only manage to win just 6 seats, it substantially damaged BJP’s fortunes.

Yeddyurappa re-joined BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls formally merging his KJP with the BJP.

Proving his mettle, he won Shimoga Lok Sabha seat by a huge margin of 363,305 votes. Soon, he was reinstated as the chief of BJP state unit in Karnataka as party is keenly eyeing a return in 2018 assembly polls.

The verdict of special CBI court has certainly strengthened Yeddyurappa position within the party and and BJP’s position in the state.