Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa knows the value of drama and hype. He plans his moments, seemingly dictated both by stellar considerations and by an uncanny ability to grab attention, whatever he does.
So, when he resigned as Karnataka Chief Minister last year, he chose the day and time and then walked in heavy rain on a Sunday to the Raj Bhawan. In case anybody missed the point, about 70 BJP MLAs walked with him. Through the fall from grace and then party favour in the months since, Mr Yeddyurappa will have everyone know that those 70 odd MLAs are still firmly by his side and will brave the elements and party displeasure again to support him.
Mr Yeddyurappa's deep angst is that charges of corruption led him to lose his Chief Minister's chair; in winning that, he had also won the BJP its first government in the south. The farmer's son had risen up the ranks, step-by-step of the political ladder to that position and the loss was big. At 68, Mr Yeddyurappa was the tallest Lingayat leader in a state where Lingayats are a powerful community. He had crafted his political ascent as a leader of the downtrodden and being forced to step down after being indicted by the state Lokayukta in illegal mining cases was unacceptable to him. He swore he would be back in months and ensured that the man who succeeded him was his mild-mannered protege Sadananda Gowda, who would hold the seat for him.
But by the time Mr Yeddyurappa was back to claim what he said was his, Mr Gowda had come into his own. He is backed by the BJP leadership, leaving Mr Yeddyurappa out in the cold and playing a periodic game of brinkmanship. He flexes muscle, throws allegations, asks for Sadananda Gowda's removal, threatening to resign along with his supporters. If he splits the party, the BJP could well lose its only government in the south.
BS Yeddyurappa was born on February 27, 1943, to Siddalingappa and Puttathayamma in Bookanakere in Mandya district of Karnataka. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Bangalore and has been a farmer, a clerk and has run a hardware shop. Somewhere along the way he joined the RSS. His official website says he was 15 when he joined the sangh.
Mr Yeddyurappa's political career began in Shikaripura, which would later send him to the Karnataka assembly six times. It began at the taluk level of the Jansangh and he assiduously worked his way up, even being jailed during Emergency.
From the RSS came lessons in organisation and resource management. The political acumen was innate. He would soon become the leader of the poor and hapless, launching several movements to bring attention to the problems of farmers and bonded labourers.
Over the years came stints as BJP state president and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly.
Mr Yeddyurappa's first headline-making moment was shared - he and Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy brought down the Dharam Singh government of the Congress in 2006. CM Dharam Singh had been indicted, ironically, in a mining scam by the state Lokayukta. A BJP-JD(S) pact was sown - they would head government in turn for 20 months each. So Mr Kumarswamy became CM and Mr Yeddyurappa, Deputy CM. When it was time to swap, the JD-S reneged on the deal and the BJP walked out of the government leading to President's Rule.
The two parties then patched up in an uneasy truce and Mr Yeddyurappa became CM in November 2007. For seven days. The truce with the JD(S) collapsed over ministries and Mr Yeddyurappa resigned. Another stint of President's Rule followed.
In May 2008, after Assembly elections in the state, Mr Yeddyurappa was sworn in as CM at the helm of the first ever BJP government in south India.
The stint was not without its hic-ups, not least several revolts, including the one by the powerful Reddy brothers of Bellary. But the bigger challenge came in late 2010 when allegations of corruption began to surface. On July 31, 2011, Mr Yeddyurappa walked in the rain to the Raj Bhawan and resigned.
But not before he had refused to step down despite several requests from within his embarrassed party and much demand from the Opposition. He went on his own terms, insisting that Sadananda Gowda be made CM. At Mr Gowda's swearing in ceremony, a smiling Mr Yeddyurappa was clearly the presiding presence.
It has been steadily downhill since for the strongman, as he fights cases of corruption in various courts. After the high court ruling earlier this year quashing a case against him in the illegal mining scam, he made an attempt to stage a comeback. The BJP was not impressed and made clear that Mr Gowda was here to stay. For Mr Yeddyurappa, the last weapon in his arsenal is the threat of resignation and splitting the party.
Mr Yeddyurappa has three daughters and two sons. One of the charges against Mr Yeddyurappa is nepotism and using his office to benefit his children. Last week the Supreme Court ordered a CBI inquiry against him for nepotism, illegal land acquisition and favouring top mining companies.