Known as the most popular Lingayat leader, B S Yeddyurappa was named BJP President for Karnataka state on the 8th of April 2016. He has a tall task to achieve which is to unite and consolidate BJP in Karnataka and lead the party during 2018 Assembly elections.
BSY is also the Chief Ministerial candidate of BJP for 2018. BSY has not taken his tasks lightly and has started working on his first task of consolidating the party in the areas where its presence is strong and make inroads where BJP's presence is not much.
Here is a brief history of BSY's political career in Karnataka state which has seen many a highs and lows.
Beginning in 1970s:
B S Yeddyurappa's career in public service began when he was appointed Secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Shikaripur unit in 1970. BSY has been associated with RSS since his college years.
In two years time he was elected to the Shikaripura Town Municipality. In 1972 he was also appointed as the President of the Taluk unit of the Jana Sangh.
BSY's popularity can be judged by the fact that in 1975, he was elected President of the Town Municipality of Shikaripura. BSY was put in jail during the Emergency time and he had spent time in Bellary and Shimoga jails.
With BJP since 1980s:
BSY's journey with BJP began in 1980 when he was appointed President of the Shikaripura taluk unit of the BJP.
BSY was first elected to Karnataka Assembly in 1983 from Shikaripura Constituency which he has represented six times till date.
In 1985 he was made the president of BJP's Shimoga district unit and just three years later in 1988, he became the President of the BJP in Karnataka.
BSY's rise continues in 1990s:
After the 1994 Karnataka assembly elections, BSY became the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
In 1999, as he lost the Assembly elections he was nominated by BJP to become a member of the legislative council (upper house) of Karnataka.
Defining career in 2000s:
BSY was re-elected in 2004 and became the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
BSY's first stint in power came when he helped Janata Dal (Secular) leader H. D. Kumaraswamy bring down the coalition government headed by Congress' Dharam Singh and form an alternative government with BJP. As per the terms of the agreement Kumaraswamy was to be the CM for first 20 months and BSY was to be the CM for the next 20 months.
During the Chief Ministership of Kumaraswamy, BSY was the Deputy Chief Minister and als the Finance Minister.
BSY initiated numerous welfare schemes such as the Bhagyalakshmi scheme, bicycles for students, a ban on arrack and farm loan waivers.
BSY became Chief Minister of Karnataka on the 12th of November 2007 after JD(S) and BJP burried their differences and President's Rule was revoked. President's Rule was imposed in Karnataka when Kumaraswamy refused to step down as CM as per the agreement. Kumaraswamy refused to accept ministries offered to his party later and BSY had to resign on the 19th November 2007.
For 2008 Karnataka Assembly elections BSY contested from Shikaripura against former CM S. Bangarappa of the Samajwadi Party who was supported by Congress and JD(S). BSY won by a margin of more than 45,000 votes.
BSY led BJP to its first ever win in South India and he was sworn in as CM of Karnataka on the 30th of May 2008.
The Karnataka Lokayukta while investigating the illegal mining case submitted a report which indicted Yeddyurappa for illegally profiteering from land deals in Bangalore and Shimoga.
He also faced charge in connection with the illegal iron ore export scam in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga.
BSY resigned on 31 July 2011 after he was forced by BJP's central leadership.
BSY also resigned as Member of Legislative Assembly and from his membership of BJP on 30 November 2012.
Launch of new party:
After resigning from BJP, BSY formally launched the Karnataka Janata Paksha. He had registered party and its name in April 2011 itself but he launched it in 2012.
In 2013 Assembly elections he was again elected from Shikaripura Constituency of Shivamogga district.
Rejoins BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections:
In November 2013 itself it was talked about that BSY was considering returning to BJP without any terms and conditions. He formally merged his party with BJP on the 2nd of January 2014.
BSY contested from the Shimoga seat of Karnataka in 2014 Lok Sabha election and won by a margin of 363,305 votes.
Freedom from corruption charges:
Karnataka High Court set aside the sanction given by then Governor HR Bhardwaj for BSY's prosecution in several cases of alleged illegal denotification of land, and asked the present Governor Vajubhai Vala to have a fresh look at it.
A special Lokayukta court then struck down four other FIRs against him.
Other cases against him were also dropped.
Named BJP President of Karnataka:
On the 8th of April BSY took over as BJP President for Karnataka state from Prahlad Joshi.