Spelling fresh trouble to former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa within days after he was made the state BJP chief, the Congress government in Karnataka has decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against his acquittal in a raft of corruption cases by the High Court.
An order had been issued on February 24 on filing the appeal, which the state anti-corruption ombudsman Lokayukta had also recommended, Law Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters here.
“Lokayukta had also recommended it. In that background, the Home Department has taken action and issued the order,” he said, adding, the appeal would be in relation to 15-16 cases against Yeddyurappa.
The Siddaramaiah government’s move comes almost within two weeks after Yeddyurappa made a fiery return as the state BJP president for a fourth time, setting an ambitious target of winning 150 of the 224 Assembly seats in the 2018 polls.
His appointment to revive the fortunes of BJP had come after the Lingayat strongman got a breather from the High Court in January this year, when it quashed the proceedings against him in relation to 15 FIRs registered by the Lokayukta police over denotification of lands in alleged violation of rules.
After Yeddyurappa’s return as BJP chief, Siddaramaiah had indicated recently that the government was mulling filing the appeal and the Law Department would take a decision.
Yeddyurappa was forced to step down as Chief Minister in 2011 over graft charges, following which he quit the party to form his own outfit, Karnataka Janata Party, which failed to make a mark except to cause damage to BJP in 2013 polls.
He returned to BJP following the announcement of Modi as party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Biding his time, Yeddyurappa had made no secret of his desire to become the state BJP President and got the post recently with no challengers to him with his pan state image and combative style.
With Yeddyurappa already going on the offensive against the Siddaramaiah government after taking over the mantle of presidentship, the new development is expected to raise the political temperature in the state.