The acquittal of B.S. Yeddyurappa, Bharatiya Janata Party president in Karnataka, by a special CBI court, is bound to strengthen his position within the party.
The charge of favouring mining companies in return for gratification was among the highlights of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining, following which he had to quit as Chief Minister in 2011.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, who subsequently quit the BJP itself, returned to the party-fold to become its State president. However, despite being formally declared by the party's central leadership as its chief ministerial candidate, there are strong doubts within the party on whether legal hurdles would allow him to become chief minister, even if the party regains power in the 2018 Assembly elections.
Wednesday’s acquittal, party insiders say, has sent a clear signal to the cadres that there may not be any legal obstacles for him to assume power again. Though a few other cases against him are pending, the party leaders are confident of facing them “politically.” The legal relief is expected to give him complete authority over the BJP’s organisation at a crucial juncture.
Style of functioning At the same time, several senior party leaders wonder if the acquittal will make him more unilateral while taking decisions related to the party.
Already, a section of leaders have publicly expressed dissatisfaction over his style of functioning.
“Any aggressive posture by him will further deepen the differences within the organisation, complicating matters for him,” a leader said.