The first ever BJP Government in the South headed by Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa completed two years in office on Saturday, managing to overcome all odds and a major intra-party rebellion that had threatened its very survival.
For Mr. Yeddyurappa, the main architect of installing the saffron party government, it was a bumpy ride all through as he had to face a double attack - from the combined opposition Congress-JDS, as well as from a section of disgruntled elements led by his own ministerial colleagues.
Trouble haunted the minority BJP government which assumed office on May 30, 2008 as it had face an outrage from opposition parties and farmers’ outfits over the police firing in Haveri on farmers agitating for fertilisers, within ten days after coming to power.
The incident claimed lives of two farmers.
Later, the BJP government hogged national limelight for a spate of attacks on churches and the acts of moral policing by right-wing Sri Rama Sene, whose activists were accused of attacking women in a Mangalore pub in 2008.
The Chief Minister devoted much of the time during his maiden year in office weaving a strategy - ‘Operation Lotus’ - to convert his minority government into majority by luring MLAs from opposition ranks, which he successfully accomplished.
As Mr. Yeddyurappa found stability politically and set his eyes on toning up administration during September last, the State was devastated by unprecedented floods in parts of north Karnataka region, which affected more than sixteen districts and left lakhs of people homeless.
Even as the administration was gearing up to meet massive challenge of providing relief to flood ravaged victims, three powerful ministers of Bellary and mining magnets embarked upon a dissident campaign, ferried more than 60 BJP legislators outside the State and gunned for the ouster of Yeddyurappa.
The dissident act came to the centre stage and relief- work suffered as Mr. Yeddyurappa, who hails from the dominant Lingayat community, trained his attention towards quelling the revolt spearheaded by Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy, his brother Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy and their family associate, Health Minister B. Sreeramulu.
The BJP high command which stepped into the scene not only managed to save the day for Mr. Yeddyurappa, but also the party’s image which nosedived in the eyes of public following the dissident act.
Mr. Yeddyurappa, however, proved his mettle in elections as he steered BJP to victory in all the elections held in the State so far, be it bye-polls to assembly or the civic elections.
History was made when BJP took control of the civic body, Bruhut Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, winning majority of the seats in the recent elections.
JDS led by former Prime Minister H. D. Devegowda, fired repeated salvos including charges of corruption against Mr. Yeddyurappa, which the Chief Minister fended off successfully.
The ruling party is now busy working out programmes to celebrate its ‘sadaneya samavesha’ (Achievements Convention) likely to be held here on June 18.