Yeddyurappa jailed till Oct 22 in corruption cases

October 16th, 2011 - 12:14 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore/New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) On a day of high drama, former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was Saturday jailed in two corruption cases, causing a severe loss of face for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as senior leader L.K. Advani is on a nation-wide anti-corruption yatra.

The hugely embarrassed BJP, which accepted it was a “bad day” for the party, however, said Advani’s yatra would go on with its Karnataka leg as scheduled.

A jubilant Congress said the BJP should end the yatra as its “duplicity” stood exposed with the arrest of Yeddyurappa and another of his ministerial colleagues Saturday and even quipped that Advani should have begun his yatra from Bangalore instead of Bihar.

The BJP’s mascot in Karnataka and its first chief minister in south India, the 68-year-old Yeddyurappa became “under trial No.10,462″, two-and-half months after he quit office following indictment by the Lokayukta (ombudsman) for corruption in illegal mining scam.

He was arrested and sent to jail till Oct 22 in two cases of illegally denotifying lands (freeing from government control) in and around Bangalore in return for monetary gains.

The arrest came after Lokayukta special court Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao rejected Yeddyurappa’s bail plea in the two cases, filed in January this year by two Bangalore advocates - Sirajin Basha and N.K. Balaraj.

Yeddyurappa kept the police on tenterhooks for over four hours after Rao ordered his arrest as he was not found either in his official residence on Race Course Road in city centre or his private home in south Bangalore.

His absence from both places led to speculation that he might have either got admitted to a hospital or taken shelter in a ‘math’ (religious complex).

He then turned up at Rao’s court Saturday evening and surrendered. Rao ordered judicial custody (jail) till Oct 22 and Yeddyurappa was immediately whisked away to the city central jail at Parappana Agrahara in east Bangalore. He was lodged in a cell after a routine medical check-up.

Yeddyurappa, who was largely responsible for bringing the BJP to power in the state, sported a smile as he came out of Rao’s court.

Meanwhile, his lawyer said they will move the Karnataka High Court Monday for bail.

In the jail, Yeddyurappa will have the company of his former ministerial colleagues Katta Subramanaya Naidu and S.N. Krishnaiah Shetty.

Shetty was also arrested Saturday as his bail plea in the two cases was rejected.

Yeddyuappa was not present in the court when the special judge took up the hearing on his case. He sent a medical certificate saying he was suffering from back pain.

Shetty, who was present, collapsed in the court hall and burst into tears as Rao rejected the bail plea and ordered his arrest.

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 a software firm.

Another of Yeddyurappa’s former 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 state Congress was jubilant following the arrest, with top leaders shaking hands as the news came but the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), the BJP’s erstwhile coalition partner, said there is nothing to celebrate.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who succeeded Yeddyurappa Aug 4, was confident that his predecessor will emerge victorious from his legal battles.

Party state chief K.S. Eshwarappa termed it a “bad day” for the party but said the development would not affect Advani’s anti-corruption yatra that is set to pass through the state on Oct 30 and Oct 31.

In Delhi, Congress general secretary B.K. Hariprasad said Advani undertaking his Jan Chetna Yatra when Yeddyurappa has been jailed exposed the party’s “duplicity”.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari also took a dig at the BJP, saying Advani’s yatra should have been flagged off from Bangalore and not Bihar.

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.

Yeddyurappa quit July 31 after the then Lokayukta (ombudsman) N. Santosh Hegde recommended his trial for graft in illegal land mining scam.

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