May 27: The priorities of Bharatiya Janata Party Karnataka chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa now take new focus on making party leader L K Advani Prime Minister.
Yeddyurappa said that his priority would now be to win all the 28 Lok Sabha seats from the State in the general elections to ensure that the party leader L K Advani becomes the prime minister. “Now, we have realised the dream of installing the BJP Government in Karnataka as per the wish of (party leaders) Atalji and Advaniji,” Yeddyurappa said. Yeddyurappa attributed the BJP’s good performance in recent Assembly polls to the “betrayal of the Janata Dal (Secular)”.
Referring to decision by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda led JD(S) to withdraw support to his government just a week after it was installed last year, he said people were waiting for an opportunity to teach a lesson to the JD(S) and had displayed their anger by supporting the BJP.
One more chance for BSY
The journey to the chief ministers post for senior BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa has been an epic and unprecedented one. Having held the post for seven days in November last, Yeddyurappa, the leader of the single largest party in the 13th Legislative Assembly now, seven months later, again stands at the door steps of being sworn-in as Karnataka’s 26th Chief Minister.
His party has bagged 110 seats and is now eyeing the six independents from Hiriyur, Hosadurga, Kolar, Kanakagiri, Malavalli, Pavagada constituencies to form the government. The party is confident that it is only a matter of time.
During the last seven months, Yeddyurappa ensured that the BJP did not lose out on its trump card – the act of betrayal by the JD(S) – while campaigning in the elections. He also criss-crossed the State urging the voters to give his party “one more chance”.
A born fighter, it was a low profile start for Yeddyurappa as a casual worker in the social welfare department. Born in Bukanakere, a sleepy village in Mandya district, Yeddyurappa entered public life by joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1965. He migrated to Shikaripur in search of a job and later became the President of Jan Sangh’s local unit in 1972.
It has been observed that he lacks charisma, but as one of BJP’s senior-most leaders from the grassroots, he sure knows the pulse of the people.
In 1982, Yeddyurappa led a 300-km march of bonded labourers from his hometown to Bangalore, which made him a hero overnight. In 1983, Yeddyurappa made his debut as an MLA on BJP ticket. He has been behind BJP’s rise in the State. Elected five times as MLA, he was Leader of the Opposition twice – 1994-96 and 2004-06.
A powerful orator in Kannada, he led many political attacks against previous Congress and Janata Dal governments. He was BJP State President for nine years.
Yeddyurappa was catapulted from the Opposition ranks to the ruling side, albeit in a coalition, by a political coup in 2006 by Kumaraswamy.
He presented two budgets during his tenure as the Deputy Chief Minister with a thrust on development and people welfare. His initiatives, among others, included ban on arrack and lotteries, distribution of farm credit to farmers at four per cent interest and empowerment of girl children from BPL families and distribution of bicycles to 8th standard students from these families.
However, he remained unlucky after the much awaited transfer of power from JD(S) to BJP as scheduled on October three following adverse decision by JD(S).
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 Yeddyurappa to occupy the coveted post after a long wait. But his tenure last for only seven days with the JD(S) unceremoniously pulling the rug.
Yet, it was Yeddyurappa’s steely nerves and his determination to rise that saw him through many a tricky situation.