First BJP CM in South B S Yeddyurappa resigns

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Bangalore, Nov 19 (UNI) It was a dream come true for 64-year-old Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka enabling a BJP-led Government to make its debut in the South.

But the idyll lasted only seven days.

Yedyurappa's dream came crashing down to earth today when he was forced to announce his resignation in the Assembly where he had sought a vote of confidence.

The resignation was the outcome of a falling out with his coalition partner- Janata Dal (Secular) which withdrew its support to the BJP-led government.

And so ended the first BJP-led Government's debut in the South.

Lady luck had eluded Yedyurappa after the much-awaited transfer of power from the JD (S) to the Bharatiya Janata Party had failed to materialise as scheduled on October three following an adverse decision by the JD(S). However, subsequent political developments had led to change of mind among the JD(S) leaders who agreed to extend an unconditional support to the BJP, ending Yeddyurappa's long wait for the coveted post.

Undaunted by the obstacles in his assuming the mantle of Chief Ministership, including imposition of President's Rule in the State on October nine, Yeddyurappa took control of the situation and acted swiftly by parading 129 BJP and JD(S) Legislators before Governor Rameshwar Thakur and again presented 124 Legislators before President Pratibha Patil following delay by the Governor in sending a report to the first citizen.

Yeddyurappa had shot into limelight when he launched a crusade against the ''injustice'' done to farmers for over two decades. He had entered public life at the age of 29 years. He was jailed during emergency for 45 days at Shimoga and Bellary prisons. He had also espoused the cause of bonded labourers and led a team of 1,700 bonded labourers in the Shimoga Deputy Commissioner's office, demanding release and rehabilitation of bonded labourers in the State.

He had won the hearts of the farming community when he vehemently fought for upholding the rights of Bagar Hukum farmers (landless people who unauthorisedly cultivate in Government lands) and prevented forest department officials from planting Eucalyptus saplings in those lands.

A tempestuous person by nature, Yeddyurappa had first entered the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1983. This had proved to be a turning point in his public life. He had also been the President of the State BJP in 1988 and had served as a party National Secretary in 1992.

He had served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly when he got elected to the lower house for the fourth time in 1994.

Subsequently, he was elected to the Assembly in 2004 for the fifth time and functioned as the opposition leader again. He was a member of the Legislative Council from February 2000 to 2004.

His role in the State politics became prominent in 2005 when he joined hands with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, leading to the downfall of the Congress-led coalition Government, headed by Mr N Dharam Singh. Subsequently, he became the Deputy Chief Minister as agreed upon and served under the leadership of Mr Kumaraswamy, holding the Finaance and Excise portfolios.

He had successfully presented two budgets with a thrust on development and people's welfare. His initiatives included abolition of arrack and lotteries, distribution of farm credit to farmers at four per cent interest rate, empowerment of girl children from below poverty line families and distribution of bicycles to eighth standard students from these families.


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