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Yeddyurappa sworn in as Karnataka chief minister

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NEW DELHI: BJP legislature party leader B S Yeddyurappa was today sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka for a second time.

The veteran politician took the oath of office “in the name of God and farmer” while sporting a green shawl draped on his shoulders, a nod to farmer activism in Karnataka.

The 75-year-old Lingayat strongman was administered the oath of office and secrecy by governor Vajubhai Vala at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan, hours after a pre-dawn legal showdown between the BJP and Congress-JD(S) combine at the Supreme Court.

In a last-ditch attempt to prevent the BJP from coming to power in the southern state, the post-poll Congress-JD(S) alliance had filed a writ petition at the apex court demanding a stay on the governor’s invitation to the BJP to form the government.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Congress-JD (S) combine, said that the swearing-in ceremony should be stayed or deferred, but the bench stated: “We are not staying the oath taking ceremony”.

The apex court, however, made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation in the state would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.

Yeddyurappa has 15 days to prove his majority in the state legislative assembly.

The BJP has 104 MLAs in the House, eight short of the magic figure of 112. The Congress-JD(S) combine enjoys the support of 117 MLAs.

Yeddyurappa: From government clerk to chief minister
‘s office

From the humdrum existence as a government clerk and a hardware store owner to a second stint as Karntaka chief minister, B S
Yeddyurappa has navigated the choppy waters of politics with the consummate ease of a seasoned oarsman, defying tidal waves of adversity.

A hardboiled RSS Swayamsevak, Bookanakere Siddalingappa
Yeddyurappa joined the Hindu right organisation when he was barely 15, and cut his political teeth in the Jana Sangh, the BJP’s forerunner, in his hometown Shikaripura in Shivamogga district.

He became the Jana Sangh’s Shikaripura taluka chief in the early 1970s.

Currently a Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga, he was first elected to the Legislative Assembly from Shikaripura in 1983 and went on to win it five more times.

He is known to have espoused the cause of farmers, something which was repeatedly referred to by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his election speeches.

Yeddyurappa may have landed in the hot seat in 2004 itself when the BJP emerged as the single largest party, but the Congress and JD(S) of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda cobbled together an alliance, and a government was formed under Dharam Singh.

Known for his political sagacity,
Yeddyurappa joined hands with H D Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda’s son, in 2006 and brought down the Dharam Singh government after the chief minister was indicted by Lokayukta in an alleged mining scam.

Under a rotational chief ministership arrangement, Kumaraswamy became the chief minister and
Yeddyurappa his deputy. However, the coalition government collapsed as the JD (S) reneged on the power sharing deal after 20 months, paving the way for elections.

In the 2008 polls, the Lingayat heavyweight led the party to victory, and the first BJP government in the south was formed under him.

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 broke the camel’s back, and he was forced to resign on July 31, 2011.

Notwithstanding the taint of corruption,
Yeddyurappa‘s status and clout grew in the BJP.

On October 26, 2016, he got 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 January 2016, the Karnataka High Court quashed all 15 FIRs against
Yeddyurappa lodged by the Lokayukta police under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In April that year, he was appointed the state BJP chief for the fourth time.

(With PTI inputs)

Updated: May 17, 2018 — 4:07 am

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