Nation Current Affairs 27 Jul 2019 For BS Yediyurappa, ...

For BS Yediyurappa, ride to power has been slow, steady

Published Jul 27, 2019, 6:26 am IST
Updated Jul 27, 2019, 6:26 am IST
The Lingayat strongman entered the record books on Friday as the sole leader to occupy the CM’s post four times.
Former CM and senior BJP leader S.M. Krishna with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at the latter’s swearing in ceremony in Bengaluru on Friday. BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje is seen. (Photo: DC)
 Former CM and senior BJP leader S.M. Krishna with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at the latter’s swearing in ceremony in Bengaluru on Friday. BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje is seen. (Photo: DC)

Way back in 1972, he would be seen riding a bicycle, garnering support for membership at a local body in Shikaripura. Soon, he was elected president of the local body. He was detained for a brief period in 1975 during Emergency but was appointed secretary of the state unit of Janata Party two years later. Though he did not belong to Shikaripura- he was born in 1943 in Bookanakere in K R Pet taluk of Mandya district, graduated from PES College, Mandya, quit a government job to move to Shikaripura to work as a clerk in Veerabhadra Shastri's Shankara Rice Mill-he joined the socialist movement after shutting down a loss-making hardware shop in this town. He married Veerabhadra Shastri's daughter Mythradevi, and during his participation in socialist movement, joined the RSS.

His bicycle rides helped him win the Shikaripura Municipal Council elections in 1972, but was imprisoned during emergency. When the erstwhile Jan Sangh transformed into  BJP, Mr Yediyurappa strove to strengthen the party in the district. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1983 on BJP ticket from Shikaripura. In the 225-member House, he and M Anand Rao, represented the BJP. In 1985, he was elected president of Shivamogga unit of BJP.


In 1994, he was elected leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, but lost in polls held five years later.

He, however, was elected to the Council only to return to the Assembly in 2004, defeating former CM S Bangarappa by a big margin.

Till date, Mr Yediyurappa has served as Member of the Legislative Assembly for eight terms,  Member of Lok Sabha, once. In 2006, he took over as deputy chief minister in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government. A year later, when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, failed to hand over the reins to Mr Yediyurappa, the coalition government collapsed, and for Assembly elections in 2008. The Lingayat strongman made betrayal by JD (S) an election issue and managed to derive much sympathy from voters belonging to his community, but the BJP fell short of the magic figure of 113.


He, however, succeeded by garnering the support of five independents and later increased the tally of BJP through 'Operation Kamala', poaching MLAs of Congress and JD (S), to head the first government of his party south of the Vindhyas.

His party forced him to quit on July 31, 2011, following a stinging report submitted by Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, on illegal mining. He was sent to prison for a few weeks by the Lokayukta court in November 2012.

Soon after stepping out of the prison, he quit the BJP and launched Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), a regional outfit, which dented the prospects of the BJP and helped the Congress return to power in Assembly polls in 2013.


Following the BJP's debacle, he was invited by party leaders to return by merging his outfit and head the state unit.

During Assembly polls held in 2018, the BJP won 105 seats but could not form the government on its own. However, he took the risk, anticipating support of MLAs of other  parties, and took oath as Chief Minister but was forced to quit in three days as he could not muster adequate strength to cross the 113-mark.

On Friday, he entered the record books as the sole leader to occupy the CM's post four times, following the collapse of the 14 month-old coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy.


His elder son B Y Raghavendra represents Shivamogga in Lok Sabha, his siblings being B Y Vijendra, Arunadevi, Padmavati, and Umadevi.

His wife, Mythradevi, died after slipping into a sump in the farmhouse in Shikaripura.