Rise and fall of Yeddy

Bangalore: From humble beginning as a clerk to his rise as chief minister and surrender today before a Lokayukta court in connection with alleged land scams, the political fortunes of former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa have see sawed wildly.

The day today turned out to be the lowest point in the life of the Karnataka BJP strongman when a local court rejected his bail plea and remanded him in judicial custody till October 22. Credited with installing the first ever BJP government in the south four years ago, Yeddyurappa has become the first former chief minister of the state to land in jail on corruption charges.

The 68-year-old leader from Lingayat community who was baptised into politics through Jan Sangh in 1972 saw a steady rise in his career. Yeddyurappa who entered the state assembly from Shikaripura assembly constituency in Shimoga in 1983, which elected him for six terms, barring in 1999 when he lost. It was a remarkable rise for Yeddyurappa, who began his career as a clerk in Social Welfare Department, which he quit after his family shifted from Mandya to Shimoga district.

He joined a rice mill in 1967 as a clerk, a job which he quit to start a hardware shop. Yeddyurappa became RSS secretary in Shikarupura in 1970 and was elected president of its Jan Sangh unit in 1972. Known for his pro-poor and pro-farmers agitations, Yeddyurappa was imprisoned many a times between 1975-1977 during Emergency.

He also took up peoples problems as opposition leader in the Assembly, taking BJP to the role of the ruling dispensation when he managed to strike a coalition arrangement with JDS in 2006. Tasting power for the first time, Yeddyurappa became deputy chief minister in the JDS-BJP coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy.

When Kumaraswamy reneged on the power sharing pact with BJP and refused to transfer power in 2007, Yeddyurappa criss- crossed the state on the plank of "JDS betrayal" and brought BJP to power on its own in the 2008 assembly polls. Yeddyurappa assumed office as Chief Minister heading the BJP-JDS coalition government for eight days from November 12-19, 2007 but had to demit office after JDS pulled out. The BJP leader, who assumed office of Chief Minister on May 30, 2008, established virtual control over the government and the party till 2009.

He had survived many a crises, including the campaign backed by mining baron and former minister G Janardhana Reddy to remove him. Janardhana is now in jail in an illegal mining case. Yeddyurappa faced another major challenge when 16 MLAs, including 11 from BJP, withdrew support to his government last year. He overcame this crisis also. As Yeddyurappa tried to consolidate his hold, JDS leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy came up with a slew of corruption charges against him.

In the midst of all these battles, Governor H R Bhardwaj, who had twice failed to impose President`s rule, granted sanction to advocates Sirajin Basha and K N Balraj to prosecute Yeddyurappa under Prevention of Corruption Act. They filed five private complaints against Yeddyurappa accusing him of irregularities in denotification of lands which ultimately landed him in trouble.

On July 31 when Yeddyurappa was forced to resign in the wake of the Lokayuta report indicting him on illegal mining, he had declared, "I will return as chief minister in six months by coming out clean."