Profile of Yedi, first BJP CM of South

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Bangalore, Nov 12: It is a dream cum true for 64-year-old Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa who was sworn in as 26th Chief Minister of Karnataka and who has enabled a BJP government make its debut in South.

Mr Yediyurappa had remained luckless after the much awaited transfer of power from Janata Dal(Secular) to Bharatiya Janata Party as scheduled on October three following adverse decision by JD(S).

However, subsequent swift political developments led to the change in the mind of JD(S) leaders and extent an unconditional support to the BJP which made Mr Yeddyurappa to occupy the coveted post after a long wait.

Undaunted by obstacles posed against his leadership resulting in imposition of the President's Rule in the state on October 9, Mr Yeddyurappa took control of the situation and acted swiftly by parading 129 legislators before Governor Rameshwar Thakur and again presented 124 legislators following delay of sending report to the President by the Governor.

Mr Yeddyurappa shot into limelight when he launched a crusade against injustice done to farmers for over two decades. He entered public life at the age of 29 years. He was jailed during emergency for 45 days at Shimoga and Bellary prisons. He also espoused the cause of bonded labourers and led a team of 1700 bonded labourers in the Shimoga Deputy Commissioner's office demanding release and rehabilitation of bonded labourers ins the state. He became a dear leader to the farming community when he vehemently fought for upholding the rights of Bagar Hukum farmers(landless people who unauthorisedly cultivate government lands) and prevented forest department officials from planting Eucalyptus saplings in those lands.

A tempestuous person by nature, Mr Yeddyurappa entered the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in the 1983 elections. This proved to be a turning point in his public life as shaped his political career and enabled BJP to come to power in the state. He had also been the President of State BJP in 1988 and had served as a Secretary at the all india level in 1992.

He served as the Opposition leader 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 elections for the fifth time and functioned as the opposition leader again. He was the member of the Legislative Council from February 2000 to 2004.

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

He successfully presented two budgets during his tenure as the DCM with a thrust on Development and People Welfare. His initiatives, among others, included abolition of arrack and lotteries, distribution of farm credit to farmers at four per cent interest and empowerment of girl children from below poverty line families and distribution of bicycles to 8th standard students from these families.


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