The rise and fall of BS Yeddyurappa

Updated: October 15, 2011 20:43 IST
With the Karnataka elections just a few days away, it remains to be seen if former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa becomes a game changer. Credited with leading the first BJP government in South India, all eyes will now be on his new party the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP)
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
With the Karnataka elections just a few days away, it remains to be seen if former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa becomes a game changer. Credited with leading the first BJP government in South India, all eyes will now be on his new party the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP)
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
At 70, Bookanakere Sidalingappa Yeddyurappa has been the face of the BJP in Karnataka. Starting out with the RSS in his youth, he joined the Jan Sangh and then the BJP. Although he was born in Mandya district, he lived and contested elections from Shimoga from where he entered the Assembly.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
As a Lingayat leader, he helped bring a significant vote bank to the saffron party - something that helped to guarantee his survival in the seat of power for so long.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
But it is not just his caste. Mr Yeddyurappa was always seen as a BJP loyalist. He was the fiery leader of the Opposition in Karnataka before coming to national prominence when he shared power with the Janata Dal (Secular) in an ill-fated coalition in 2007. JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, who was the first chief minister of that coalition, refused to step down for Mr Yeddyurappa and withdrew support. Mr Yeddyurappa lasted chief minister all of one week. But he came back strongly in the elections that followed that disastrous tie-up.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
It was the BJP's big uh-oh moment when Mr Yeddyurappa was forced to resign as the Chief Minister in July 2011 after he was indicted in the illegal mining report of the then Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde. The charges said that as Chief Minister, Mr Yeddyurappa illegally denotified the prime land of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) which was later sold to a company owned by his sons.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
Mr Yeddyurappa was arrested in October 2011, in connection with the alleged denotification of government land. It came as a shock to the BJP.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
Allotment of prime BDA land to his family members, denotified land sold to them at below market rate which was later sold for a huge profit - these charges were used by his political detractors, both in and outside the party to attack him repeatedly.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
Like many Indian politicians, he is a real family man. And allegations of nepotism, land deals that favoured his children, came back to haunt him.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
There were also several revolts within the BJP against Mr Yeddyurappa. The Reddys, who helped him come to power by wooing over independents, later turned rebels and threatened his position. They seem to be on the same side now. But there have been other rebellions within the state BJP ranks.
The rise and fall of Yeddyurappa
After leaving the BJP, in December 2012 he launched his new party, the KJP. This party might not win many seats in the 224-member Assembly, but it is expected to divide the votes of Mr Yeddyurappa's powerful Lingayat community, considered a BJP stronghold. Enough to cost the BJP some vital seats, to the advantage of the Congress.

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