|Scandal-tainted Indian chief
minister to quit
|BANGALORE (AFP) – The chief minister of a
southern Indian state who is accused of being at the
centre of a $3.6-billion mining fraud will resign on
Sunday, he said Saturday.
B.S. Yeddyurappa, 68, head of the Hindu nationalist
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka
state, announced he would quit in an official
statement after national party chiefs demanded he
"As per the decision taken by the senior leaders of
the party and the parliamentary board in New Delhi,
I will resign from the chief minister's post,"
Yeddyurappa said in the statement.
A report into corrupt mining practices by the
Karnataka state ombudsman named him in the scandal.
Judge Santosh Hegde accused the chief minister of
enabling illicit mining of iron ore in the state,
which cost the public exchequer 160.8 billion rupees
($3.6 billion) between 2006 and 2010.
Hegde said his probe uncovered "involvement of some
100 mining companies, about 600 officials, powerful
politicians including the chief minister".
The report said the federal and state governments
lost money due in the form of royalties, central
excise duties, value-added taxes and other levies.
The report also said Yeddyurappa’s family, including
one who is a BJP member of the national parliament,
benefited from the fraud.
Yeddyurappa also faces allegations of selling
government land at below market value to family
The mining graft is the latest in a slew of
corruption scandals in India, which is still reeling
from the allegedly fraudulent sale of telecom
licences in 2008 estimated to have cost the country
up to $40 billion. The ombudsman's explosive
findings have cast a shadow on the BJP, which has
been leading an anti-graft campaign nationally
against the Congress-led government of Premier
On Friday, India's top court halted the extraction
of iron ore in Karnataka after the mining fraud