Election Controversies

Karnataka Elections 2018: Journey Of Yeddyurappa, A Rice Mill Clerk Who Made It Big

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:

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  • From rice mill clerk to third-time Karnataka Chief Minister, here is a person who has navigated the choppy waters of politics
  • He was the first BJP leader to be the Chief Minister of a Southern Indian state

Amid loud cheers from the Bharatiya Janata Party, BS Yeddyurappa took oath as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka at the Raj Bhavan on Thursday 17 May 2018 at 9 am. From being a Government Clerk to the Chief Minister of Karnataka for the third time, BS Yeddyurappa has navigated the choppy waters of politics.

Even though BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Karnataka 2018 Elections, controversy did not leave him alone during his ascent to the throne. He had to fight a legal battle in the country’s apex court a night before taking oath.

Read: BJP's BS Yeddyurappa Sworn-in As 23rd Chief Minister Of Karnataka

Born on 27 February 1943, Yeddyurappa, after completing Grade 12 from PES College, was appointed as a first-division clerk in the social welfare department. Soon after that he moved to his current constituency, Shikaripura, where he joined as a clerk at a rice mill. Later, he set up his own hardware shop in Shivamogga.

His Political Journey took shape in 1970. Known for his profound nature, Yeddyurappa, was appointed as the Karyavaha (Secretary) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Shikaripura unit, and later elected to the Shikaripura Town Municipality and appointed as the President of the Taluk unit of the Jana Sangh.

In 1975, he was elected as the President of the Shikaripura taluk unit of the BJP before he went on to become the President of the BJP's Shimoga district unit in 1985. In 1988, he took position of the state President of the BJP in Karnataka.

A Bachelor of Arts, who was jailed during Emergency, Yeddyurappa helped Janata Dal (Secular) bring down the coalition government with Congress and form an alternative government with the BJP. 

Read: Rahul Gandhi Breaks His Silence After Congress Lost Its Midnight Legal Battle

However, in October 2007, when it was Yeddyurappa's turn to take the oath as Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy refused to let go off his post, leading to the BJP's withdrawal of support to the Kumaraswamy-led JD(S) government.

Nevertheless, he was the first BJP leader to be the Chief Minister of a Southern Indian state.

Soon controversies swirled around Yeddyurappa over alleged abuse of office to favour his sons in allotment of land in Bengaluru. The indictment by Lokayukta in an illegal mining scam was the last straw that forced Yeddyurappa to resign on July 31, 2011.

October 26, 2016, was a huge relief when a special CBI court acquitted him, his two sons and son-in-law in a Rs 40 crore illegal mining case, which had cost him the chief ministership in 2011.

In April that year, he was appointed the state BJP chief for the fourth time. The taint of alleged corruption notwithstanding, the BJP declared him its chief ministerial candidate.

(With ANI inputs)

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