After much speculation, the BJP has finally named Lingayat leader BS Yeddyurappa as the Karnataka state president.
Yeddyurappa will take over from Prahlad Joshi, whose term actually ended in October but was extended until now due to the zilla panchayat elections. The decision to appoint BSY comes after a meeting with Amit Shah. This is the fourth time he is being made president of the state unit.
The biggest obstacle to Yeddyurappa being named the party president vanished when the Karnataka High Court said in January that the Governorâ€™s sanction for prosecution in the corruption cases against him was untenable. The High Court quashed proceedings in the cases relating to 15 FIRs filed against him by the Lokayukta. The Supreme Court later declined to intervene with the High Court's decision.
With the corruption allegations gone, and with no one of the stature of Yeddyurappa in BJP, the party had enough reasons to appoint him. He is not just the tallest leader of one of the most influential caste groups in the state, but is also a mass leader with wide support across the state.
Following corruption allegations, Yeddyurappa was jailed in October 2011, with barely one-and-a-half years to complete his term. Yeddyurappa surrendered before the special Lokayukta court, which had earlier rejected his plea for anticipatory bail and issued an arrest warrant for him. He was released on bail after spending three weeks in Bengaluru Central Prison in Parappana Agrahara.
Yeddyurappa had been accused of illegally denotifying land in favour of his relatives.
In 2011, a report by former Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, linked Yeddyurappa, his minister Janardhan Reddy and relatives to a Rs 16,085 crore mining scam, led to Yeddyurappa going to prison.