New Delhi: A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) man, BS Yeddyurappa, who on Friday resigned as Chief Minister of Karnataka, rose from being a clerk in a rice mill to the BJP’s first chief minister in south India – and eventually its albatross.
BSY known as the most popular Lingayat leader of Karnataka, was named as BJP President for the state on April 8th 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 consolidate the party in the areas where its presence is strong and make inroads where BJP’s presence is not much.
Brief history of BSY’s political career which has seen many ups and downs –
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 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. In 1994 Karnataka assembly elections, BSY became the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Previous Tryst With Kumaraswamy
On November 12, 2007, BSY became Chief Minister of Karnataka after JD(S) and BJP burried their differences and President’s Rule was revoked.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.
BSY belongs to Lingayats community while HD Kumaraswamy is from the Vokkaliga caste, another politically influential community. Lingayats and Vokkaligas, constituting about 17 per cent and 15 per cent of the state’s 65 million population respectively, have dominated Karnataka politics for decades.
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.
He spent over 20 days in Bangalore’s central prison in October-November last year in connection with corruption in an alleged illegal land deal, in which his two sons, BY Raghavendra, a BJP Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, and BY Vijayendra and son-in-law RN Sohan Kumar are also accused.
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.
BJP CM face and resignation
BJP president Amit Shah trusted as most loyal leader in the state and made BSY state president as well as CM candidate for 2018 assembly election. Ironically, BJP got 104 seats but he succeeded to become Chief Minister. After 55 hours when he failed to prove majority in the assembly, he resigned.
Yeddyurappa has three daughters, Arunadevi, Padmavati and Umadevi. His wife Mytradevi died under mysterious circumstances in 2004. Her body was found in a well near their house in Shimoga.