BS Yeddyurappa led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign for the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 and the results on May 15 will decide his fate in the party. He was the star campaigner for the BJP along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
His clarion call during the campaign was to oust the Congress from power and give the BJP one more change to serve Karnataka. The 75-year-old BJP chief ministerial candidate is contesting from the Shikaripura, which he has won six times.
Yeddyurappa had led the BJP to its first election victory in a southern state when the party emerged victorious in the Karnataka assembly elections 2008. However, he could not complete his term as the 19th chief minister of the state following allegations of corruption against him.
Angered over alleged lack of support from the BJP national leadership, Yeddyurappa even parted ways and formed his own political party – Karnataka Janata Paksha. But as they say, there are no permanent friends or foes in politics, and following the same, he merged his party with the BJP in 2014 and re-joined the saffron party.
He was first elected to Karnataka Assembly from Shikaripura constituency in 1983 and since then, he represented the constituency for six terms. As a member of the BJP, he joined the state government in an alliance with the Janata Dal Secular in February 2016. He was made the deputy chief minister of Karnataka as part of a deal with then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. According to the agreement between the two parties, Yeddyurappa was supposed to take over as the chief minister after 20 months, but when the time for the same came, Kumaraswamy refused to vacate his seat. Following this, the BJP withdrew support to the government.
The Congress has targeted Yeddyurappa over corruption allegations against him in the past. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has even said during his campaign rallies that there is no comparison between Siddaramaiah and Yeddyurappa, claiming that while the former is known for his developmental work in the state, the latter is associated only with corruption, citing his links with Reddy brothers.
However, the BJP has rallied behind him with both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah campaigning for him as the chief ministerial candidate. Speaking exclusive to Zee News during the poll campaign, Shah had even said that Yeddyurappa had passed all tests and there were no charges against him.