Bengaluru: Buoyed by the CBI court’s verdict giving him a clean chit in a case related to illegal mining in Ballari, state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa is likely to turn aggressive and train his guns on the state government and his foes in the party with the latter left with no choice but accept all his decisions.
Sources close to the former chief minister told Deccan Chronicle the Lingayat strongman, who was hesitating to haul up certain ministers on charges of corruption as one case against him and his kin was pending in the CBI court, will be hard-hitting in future. His critics within the party were citing the illegal mining case during discussions with central leaders to thwart his chances of occupying a key post, or joining the Union cabinet. They were certain that he will be indicted by the court for allegedly accepting donation in the form of a cheque from South West Mining Company and therefore will not be able to lead the party in polls to the Legislative Assembly in 2018, sources added.
Sources said today’s verdict will help top leaders of the party in Delhi to breath easy as neither leaders of Congress or JD (S) will be able to attack Mr Yeddyurappa and his supporters in future. Besides, he will be given a free hand to run the state unit much to the chagrin of his detractors who were upset with his decision to appoint his supporters as office bearers of the state and district units of the party.
In July 2011, Mr Yeddyurappa was asked by party president Nitin Gadkari to step down from the Chief Minister’s post for his alleged role in illegal mining, including the case of accepting a donation from South West Mining Company for Prerana Trust, in a report submitted by Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde.Outside the court, supporters of Yeddyurappa broke into celebrations, hailing the judgement.
It was vendetta against me and my family: Former CM
Former Chief Minister and BJP state unit President B.S. Yeddyurappa expressed happiness over his acquittal in the corruption case filed against him in the CBI court.
“It was political vendetta against me and my family. Now the truth has come out in the court. With this judgment, I have regained my reputation and people finally know the truth”, Mr. Yeddyurappa said soon after the judgment was made.
“I have reposed faith in the judiciary and was also confident that one day, I will come out clean in the case. This is also a big relief for party workers”, Mr. Yeddyurappa added.
“Henceforth, I will work to further strengthen the party and conduct an aggressive tour in the state to prepare party workers for the 2018 general elections”, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.
After visiting the BJP office at Malleshwaram to acknowledge the greetings of party workers, who seemed overjoyed with the judgment, Mr Yeddyurappa said, “Since five years, I have been waging a legal battle in the courts. I have not committed any mistake, but I was falsely implicated in the case. Finally the truth has come out”, he added.
The BJP MLA of Shikaripura constituency, B.Y. Raghavendra, the elder son of B.S. Yeddyurappa while commenting on the judgement, said, “Our family was falsely implicated in the case to settle political scores, now our confidence level has increased following the judgment. We had to undergone a lot of trauma after false cases were registered against us by our rivals. Opponents of my father had filed these cases, now people know the truth behind these cases”, Mr Raghavendra said.
Mr Sohan Kumar, son-in-law of Mr Yeddyurappa while reacting to the judgement, said, “We are very happy with the CBI court verdict. We were quite tense in the morning, but after the judgment, we are relieved. It was quite a long legal battle for our family.”
The BSY saga over 8 years
May 30, 2008: BSY takes over as Chief Minister
Dec. 28, 2010: Advocates Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj meet Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, seeking to prosecute Yeddyurappa on charges of corruption and nepotism.
Jan. 21, 2011: Governor sanctions prosecution of BSY.
July 21, 2011: Court upholds Lokayukta police inquiry against BSY.
July 27, 2011: BSY indicted along with three of his cabinets colleagues.
July 31, 2011: BSY resigns as Chief Minister.
Aug. 3, 2011: Governor accepts mining report and grants sanction to prosecute BSY.
Aug. 4, 2011: Sadananda Gowda takes over as CM
Oct. 15, 2011: Arrest warrant issued against Yeddyurappa, he surrenders in Lokayukta court.
Nov. 8, 2011: BSY released on bail after 21 days in jail.
May 7, 2012: HC quashes a complaint filed against BSY and also quashes chapter 22 of the Lokayukta report that dealt extensively with his alleged role in illegal mining in Karnataka.
May 21, 2012: Chargesheet filed against Yeddyurappa.
Aug. 2014: BSY appointed as BJP national vice president.
Jan 5, 2016: HC quashes 15 FIRs against him by Lokayukta police following a complaint based on the CAG report.
April 8, 2016: B.S. Yeddyurappa appointed as the new chief of the Karnataka unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) replacing Pralhad Joshi