Yeddyurappa Encounters Of The Family Kind
Parliamentarian|February 2017

The First Ever BJP Chief Minister in any State Below the Vindhyas is Being Surrounded by his Own Party Detractors and is Paying for his Costly Mistakes.

Ramakrishna Upadhya

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes in taking important decisions on auspicious days, hoping that everything goes fine. So, the Ugadi Day, the New Year for Tamils and Kannads, last April was chosen to anoint former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa as state president of the BJP in Karnataka.

Ugadi symbolises the bitter-sweet aspects of life and in South India, people distribute neem with loads of jaggery (gud) among friends, relatives and wellwishers, wishing for the arrival of more good news than the bad. But, nine months into office, Yeddy (as he is popularly known in media circles) has hardly brought any good tidings to the party; it is more neem than gud!

Seventy-four year old Yeddy, who was credited with opening the gates for the BJP down south and bringing the party to power in Karnataka in 2008, and later causing its downfall as well, is a complex personality. Considering that he is the only leader with a mass base who can challenge Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, he has been given the reins of the party.

The Ugadi announcement was made by party president Amit Shah in New Delhi, without taking the state leaders, who were lobbying against Yeddy’s appointment, into confidence. It had to be that way, as there was never going to be any unanimity over Yeddy’s name.

SURROUNDED AND EMBATTLED

Yeddy was, of course, happy, but soon enough he proved why there was so much of hostility towards him. Within days of taking charge as state party president, he announced a new set of office bearers without consulting anyone. Then came the all-important core committee, the highest decision making body, which included mostly his supporters and ignored many senior leaders, including immediate past president, Prahlad Joshi who is also a party MP.

Yeddy had once again displayed his dictatorial attitude, but he could not get away with it, as the party found that there was serious rebellion against him. Yeddy’s 24-member core committee was scrapped and the central leadership instead gave him a new list of 13 members, bringing back all the seniors.

It was a slap on Yeddy’s face and a clear signal for him to mend his ways. For some weeks, Yeddy concentrated on taking on his real ‘rival’ Siddaramaiah and undertook a tour of the drought-affected districts in the state. having ignored the farmers’ plight till then, an embarrassed chief minister quickly followed suit.

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