BENGALURU: Much to the dislike of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who has said a clear 'no' to name the newly constructed airport in Shivamogga after him, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is hell bent on naming it after Yediyurappa.
The move to name Shivamogga airport after B.S. Yediyurappa is said to be a “patch-up” idea by the Chief Minister with the “disgruntled” leader ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. Yediyurappa holds sway over the voters than Bommai, it is said.
Having a huge fan following across the State, Yediyurappa is an MLA from Shikaripura Assembly seat in Shivamogga and also had represented Shivamogga in Lok Sabha. He belongs to the politically dominant Lingayat community.
After Yediyurappa stepped down as the Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, serving as the Home Minister under him, became the Chief Minister. However, the relationships turned sour between the two leaders after B.Y. Vijayendra, son of Yediyurappa failed to make it to the Bommai ministry.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was in Shivamogga, to which place Yediyurappa belongs, on Wednesday and reiterated his wish to name the airport after B.S. Yediyurappa. Also, he said a proposal would be sent regarding the same to the Union Government. The airport in Shivamogga is set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 27.
It may be recalled here that B.S. Yediyurappa wrote a letter to the Chief Minister on March 24, 2022 wherein he asked Bommai to reconsider his decision to name the airport and “drop” his name for the airport in Shivamogga.
In the letter to Bommai, Yediyurappa told CM that "I am touched by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's decision to name the Shivamogga airport after me. With all humility, I request the government to name the airport after any illustrious personality of Karnataka which will be a befitting tribute to their contributions."
Contuining, Yediyurappa said “Many personalities including patriots had served the land and contributed enormously for the region. When compared with them, my services are very less.”
Yediyurappa also suggested to the Chief Minister that the Shivamogga airport be named after a deserving personality after thorough discussions.
There is talk in the political circles that Bommai insisting on Yediyurappa’s name for Shivamogga airport is seen more to make the former Chief Minister “happy" after Yediyurappa started to maintain distance from the party activities.
Now, sources said BJP leaders do not want to “antagonize” Yediyurappa, having mass appeal among voters particularly in the north Karnataka region, wherein Assembly elections are round the corner. Yediyurappa, who is active in campaigning, would play a decisive factor in increasing the prospects of the party and naming the airport in Shivamogga is one way of making him happy.