B S Yeddyurappa, who has been tasked to lead the Bharatiya Janata Party to reclaim power in Karnataka got a reprieve on Wednesday after a CBI court acquitted him in a Rs 40 crore bribery case of granting iron ore licenses during his tenure.
The acquittal will get legal sanctity to disprove allegations that the Lingayat strongman led the BJP’s first “corrupt” government in South and consolidate his leadership in the Karnataka BJP unit and gear the party for the assembly elections in 2018. Earlier, land cases against him was quashed by the Karnataka High Court on procedural grounds, which the Supreme Court upheld.
In 2011, Yeddyurappa had to step down after his name figured in the Lok Ayukta report that blew the lid of the Rs 3000 crore illegal scam in the iron ore rich Bellary district. Apart from Yeddyurappa, his party colleagues Sriramulu, Janardhana Reddy, Anand Singh and Nagendra were the other BJP lawmakers who were named in the report that indicted them of shipping thousands of tonnes of iron ore illegally to then resource hungry China.