BENGALURU: In the run-up to the Karnataka Assembly elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa had said that he can give in writing that the party would win in the state with an absolute majority. The BJP leader's claim is now a reality. The BJP is set to form government in Karnataka with a majority in the 225-member assembly.
Yeddyurappa had said his calculations had never gone wrong in his political career and he expected the BJP to win 125 to 130 seats. "I have been in Karnataka politics for long... I will give it in writing. BJP is winning with an absolute majority in the Karnataka elections. You can verify it once the results are out," he had said.
Yeddyurappa 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 contested from the Shikaripura, which he seems set to win for the seventh time.
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. However, he merged his party with the BJP in 2014 and re-joined the saffron party.
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.
Yeddyurappa's downfall began with his alleged involvement in a massive illegal iron ore mining scam. He was even put behind bars for corruption charges and had to spend over 20 days in Bangalore’s central prison.
With BJP coming to power, Yeddyurappa looks all set to return as the Chief Minister of the state.