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Ex-Karnataka chief minister cleared in bribery case

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Ex-Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

Ex-Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — An Indian court has acquitted the former chief minister of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa, in a corruption case. He had been accused of taking kickbacks for selling government land during his term, which lasted from 2008 through 2011.

His two sons and son-in-law were also acquitted in the bribery matter.

Yeddyurappa is credited with giving his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a stranglehold in southern India after forming the party’s first government in the region. The party heads India’s federal government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but has not traditionally had a strong presence in the south of the country.

Prosecutors had alleged Yeddyurappa accepted more than $5 million in kickbacks. Speaking to reporters after the acquittal, he said he was “happy with the judgement,” and felt “vendicated.”

“I will now be able to campaign freely to bring my party [back] to power in Karnataka,” he said.

Analysts have immediately said his acquittal is sure to serve the BJP as a boost in the upcoming 2018 state elections. However, Yeddyurappa has had a fairly tumultuous relationship with the party.

After becoming the party’s first chief minister in 2007, his alliance with the JDS party was short lived, and represented his fall from grace. He was ultimately forced to resign just days after, but led the BJP back to the grace of a full majority in 2008.

Shortly after he did that, he was forced yet again to resign his post — the allegations of kickbacks and corruption saw him out the door. The next year, he would quit the party.

His exit was brief, as Yeddyurappa returned as its state president in 2013.

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