Yeddyurappa back as Karnataka BJP chief

Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who had lost his post after being accused of corruption, is back in a prominent role as the BJP's Karnataka unit president.

The man credited with providing the BJP its first success in south India faced a tough tenure from 2008 onwards. He did not get along with the Bellary mining barons, the Reddy brothers, and later faced the heat due to an adverse Lokayukta report accusing him of corruption. He was forced to resign and left the party, forming the Karnataka Janata Paksha in 2012.

"Our objective is to bring BJP to power after two years. We will collectively and cautiously fight against the corrupt Congress government" said Mr. Yeddyurappa, while addressing the media.

He was brought back to the BJP just before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, given his support base among the powerful Lingayats of the State.

The Supreme Court's refusal to revoke a Karnataka High Court order putting on hold his prosecution in some cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act made his elevation easier.

New party chiefs in four States

The party has named MLA K. Lakshman as its Telangana State president and former MP Tapir Gao as its Arunachal Pradesh chief.

BJP chief Amit Shah also announced the names of the party's State unit presidents in the crucial States of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, which go to polls next year.

In both, the party has sought to play the caste card, naming Keshav Prasad Maurya, an OBC, as UP State chief and Union Minister of State Vijay Sampla, a Dalit, as its Punjab chief.

Mr. Maurya, who is member of Parliament from Phoolpur near Allahabad, once Jawaharlal Nehru's constituency, is an OBC Kachhi by caste. His caste, Maurya, is similar to three others — Saini, Kushwaha and Shakya.

Party leaders however doubt whether the caste arithmetic would work, given that the party chief is not a political leader of high stature. The BJP's political adversaries in U.P. — Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav — are unlikely to be perturbed by the new party chief's name.

Sources say Mr. Maurya was once active in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

In Punjab, the State having the highest proportion of Dalits in India, the party has gone ahead with a Dalit president. The Scheduled Castes account for almost 32 per cent of the population of the State, as per the 2011 census.

From a humble background, Mr. Sampla is seen as a rural face of the party in the State.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 1:31:53 am |