BS Yeddyurappa - BJP's warhorse in Karnataka
BS Yeddyurappa is known as the man who opened gates for BJP beyond the Vindhyas. The doyen of BJP in Karnataka has a political career spanning 46 years. In short, known as BSY, he was born on 27 February 1943 Bookanakere village in K.R.Pet taluk of Mandya district.
Yeddyurappa belongs to Lingatat community, dominant vote bank in Karnataka. He is not a hardline-Hindutva leader unlike Yogi Adityanath or Ananth Kumar Hegade. Always in trademark white safari suit, BSY exudes confidence that he will be the next chief minister.
He started his career in 1972, he was elected to the Shikaripura Town Municipality in Shimoga district and was also appointed as the President of the Taluk unit of the Jana Sangh. In 1975, he was elected President of the Town Municipality of Shikaripura. He spent a good part of his political life as opposition party leader in Vidhan Soudha. He bit the dust only once in 1999 elections but was nominated to Legislative Council.
With his strong organizational abilities and sustained campaigns, BSY has ensured the 'lotus' bloom in Karnataka. Finally, lady luck smiled on Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the 25th Chief Minister of Karnataka on 12 November 2007 but could hot onto the post as the alliance partner Janata Dal (Secular) refused to support his government over a disagreement on sharing of ministries which resulted in his resignation as Chief Minister on 19 November 2007.
In the next assembly elections, BJP bagged 110 seats and took the oath of office as Chief Minister on 30 May 2008. However, his stint as CM was not a cake walk for him. The de-notification cases, in-fighting among BJP leaders haunted his three years in office. Under pressure from the BJP central leadership, he announced his decision to quit and resigned on 31 July 2011.
Yeddyurappa was alleged to be responsible for Illegally de-notifying land in and around Bangalore. For the first time in Karnataka history, a former CM was sent to jail to jail in five cases spent 23 days in jail.
He broke away from BJP to launch his own regional party Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) in 2012 to prove clout in the state and proved so. BJP lost in 2013 elections paving way for the Congress. The KJP had garnered 10 per cent votes in the last assembly elections.
On 2 January 2014, he announced KJP's merger with BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections. After a gap of two years, in 2016, BJP has re-appointed him as the President of Karnataka state BJP unit.
On many occasions, BJP chief Amit Shah had announced that Yeddyurappa will be CM candidate. But there is a catch. BSY will be 75-year-old by the time state goes to assembly polls. According to BJP's policy politicians above 75 years of age should not hold any administrative post. The issue is how will he negotiate with the party top brass.
However, BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao has predicted a five-year term for Yeddyurappa as the Karnataka chief minister, denying claims of the party unofficially implementing a 75-year age limit for ministerial positions.
Currently, under BSY's leadership, BJP is on 'Parivatan Rally' to rejuvenate the party at the grassroots level. BSY has crisscrossed the state highlighting failures of Congress government and achievements of PM Narendra Modi's government at the Centre. Party claimed the rally has got a good response.
Ultimately, PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will take a call on BSY's political future.