Bangalore: The arrest of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, after a trial court refused him bail on Saturday, has come as a major embarrassment for the BJP. Yeddyurappa was instrumental in bringing the BJP to power in Karnataka, BJPâ€™s first government in the south. He served as the Chief Minister until forced to resign over corruption charges.
It might be too soon to say that India is getting tougher of corruption, but at least in the past few months there has been progress in prosecuting erring officers and â€“ with Yeddyurappa failing to get bail â€“ politicians.
Politicians have gone to jail before for corruption charges, but this time, its seems to be a part of a trend. His arrest warrant was issued by a special Lokayukta court on Saturday. Yeddyurappa was absent from the court, his medical certificate stated that he was suffering from back pain and would be unable to present himself in person.
In a major embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the party’s first chief minister in south India who had to quit over corruption charges B.S. Yeddyurappa was jailed Saturday after a court rejected his bail plea and ordered his arrest.
Yeddyurappa would be spending time at Bangalore’s main jail at Paprappana Agrahara, in judicial custody till 22nd October.
The 68-year-old Yeddyurappa sported a smile as he came out of the Lokayukta special court after Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao directed that he be sent to judicial custody (jail) till Oct 22.
Earlier in the day, Rao rejected Yeddyurappa’s bail plea in the two cases of illegal denotification (freeing from government control) of land in and around Bangalore in return for monetary gains.
The cases were filed in January this year by two Bangalore advocates Sirajin Bhasha and N.K. Balaraj.
The arrest of Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa came after high drama and confusion about his whereabouts as he was not at his official residence on Race Course Road in the city centre when the police came armed with the warrant to arrest him.
The police also searched for him in vain at his private residence in south Bangalore, leading to speculation that he might have either got admitted to a hospital or taken shelter in a ‘math’ (religious complex).
Over four hours after the judge ordered his arrest, Yeddyurappa turned up at the court and surrendered.
In the jail, Yeddyurappa will have the company of his former ministerial colleagues Katta Subramanaya Naidu and S.N. Krishnaiah Shetty.
Shetty, who was present, collapsed in the court hall and burst into tears as Rao rejected the bail plea and ordered his arrest.
Katta Subramanya Naidu was jailed Aug 8, along with his son Katta Jagadish, a Bangalore corporator, for taking a kickback of Rs.85 crore to allot 385 acres of land on Bangalore outskirts to an software firm.
Yeddyurappa’s another ministerial colleague, mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy, is also in jail – in Hyderabad – for illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh.
However, Yeddyurappa’s two sons — BJP Lok Sabha member B.Y. Raghavendra and B.Y. Vijayendra — and son-in-law R. Sohan Kumar were granted conditional bail. The three were also accused in the cases.
The two Bangalore advocates have filed five cases against Yeddyurappa, his two sons, son-in-law and others. Hearing in the other three cases is on.
Yeddyurappa is the first accused in all the five cases of illegal land denotification for monetary gains.
Basha and Balaraj filed the cases after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj gave them sanction to launch criminal proceedings against Yeddyurappa and his kin for conspiring to denotify lands in and around Bangalore for monetary gains.
Yeddyurappa quit July 31 after the then Lokayukta (ombudsman) N. Santosh Hegde recommended his trial for graft in illegal land mining scam.