When asked about the criticism faced by the BJP over the re-entry of Yeddyurappa, who has been accused of corrupt practices, Parrikar said in an interview telecast on a local cable channel late on Sunday, "You cannot say someone is corrupt until at least something prima facie is found. I am not saying he is spotless."

Parrikar also said that several graft cases against Yeddyurappa had already been thrown out and that the real source of corruption were the powerful Reddys, the mining barons, who were ministers in the BJP-led government in Karnataka.

Yeddyurappa, a powerful Lingayat leader from Karnataka, was BJP’s first chief minister in a southern Indian state, but was forced to quit hours before he was arrested in one of the many graft cases filed against him.

After his release from custody, an angry Yeddyrurappa had set up his own regional party and had managed to wean away key Lingayat votes from the BJP that resulted in a massive loss for the party in the last state Assembly elections.

His re-entry into the BJP has been criticized by the media as well as the opposition, which is now questioning the credentials of the saffron party's pre-poll campaign against corruption.


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