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Another top Indian politician quits amid corruption charges

India's main opposition party, which has pushed the government to prosecute ruling Congress Party members accused of corruption, asks one of its own to step down over an illegal mining scam.

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In this Monday, July 25 file photo, India's opposition Bhartiya Janata Party leader and southern state of Karnataka's Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa speaks while defending his alleged corruption charges at a press conference in Bangalore, India.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

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This story was updated on July 29 at 10:11 a.m.

A leader of India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quit as chief minister of the southern state of Karnataka after he was formally implicated in an illegal mining scandal.

Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa was named by a new report into illegal mining in the state on a list of 500 people it says have been involved in illicit activities. His party called for his resignation earlier in the day.

The incident is another indication that Indian politians are serious about cracking down on corruption, in the wake of embarrassing scandals that have damaged the country's standing in recent months. The BJP hopes the move will give it greater authority when it challenges the government over its record on corruption.

“The BJP's actions are aimed at sending a message that corruption will not be tolerated,” says Pankaj Prasoon, director of the Centre for Indian Political Research and Analysis.

The report by India's anticorruption board claims Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has been involved in a number of corrupt activities. It includes accusations that a mining company deposited $2 million into a trust run by his sons, and that the same company purchased property from a son-in-law for 20 times its value. The scams could have cost India up to $3.6 billion in lost revenue, according to the report.

Just a day after the report was officially released (parts had already been leaked to local media), the BJP has called for Yeddyurappa to resign.

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