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It's a sweet victory for Yeddyurappa
May 25, 2008 17:08 IST
Reaping a golden harvest for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa gave wings to a long cherished dream of the party and his as well to set up the first-ever saffron government in the south.
For the 66-year-old leader from a farmer's family, it is a sweet victory after the ignominious seven-day tenure as chief minister, courtesy Janata Dal-Secular, which played hide and seek with a power-sharing agreement between the two parties.
He sowed the seeds of the saffron brigade when its philosophy was still alien in a state dominated largely by Congress and Janata politics.
Considered the man with a Midas touch, who dreamt big and took his party along despite the humiliation at the hands of the JD-S, Yeddyurappa is savouring every minute of the party's victorious moments.
Yeddyurappa, who always presents himself in white trousers and shirts, ably steered the party workers both at grassroot levels and enjoyed the confidence of the party leadership.
He ensured that the BJP did not lose out on its trump card -- the act of JD-S's "betrayal" -- while campaigning in the elections.
An astute politician known for his organisational skills, Yeddyurappa had led a peasant movement. His grassroot experience helped him to build a party base and feel the changing pulse of the people.
Known for his sharp tongue and one not to spare those who err, Yeddyurappa made his political debut when he turned an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, learning the initial ropes and mass leadership from the organisation.
Born on Februray 27, 1943, the young Yeddyurappa who lost his mother when he was just four overcame his personal tragedy to become one of the key leaders in his area.
From being the president of Shikaripura taluka unit of the Jan Sangh in 1972 to being the secretary of the JP in 1977, Yeddyurappa was elected from Shikaripura municipal council in 1975.
He took over as the Shikaripura taluka unit president of BJP in 1980 and made his foray in the assembly in 1983.
Shikaripura has elected him to power on five occasions since 1983 ensuring that in 2004 they did not let down the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP.
He won comfortably for the sixth straight time.
For Yeddyurappa who went from being the hunted to the hunter like his constituency namesake Shikaripura, the historic win has been one that has turned him into the man of the match in an innings that was toughly contested by rivals and a pitch that was hostile.
Yeddyurappa, who masterminded the BJP's strategy of not letting bygones be bygones, played the "betrayal" card to the hilt harping on how the BJP was denied its legitimate chance to head a coalition government.
The BJP also unleashed an advertising blitzkrieg that it was a party that delivered on the ground and that it "deserved one more chance."
However, the test of fire came back home in Shikaripura when the Congress, JD-S ganged up against him and played one of the most careful Machiavellian move as it supported S Bangrappa of the Samajwadi Party, to ensure that the BJP's chief ministerial candidate bit the dust in his hometown.
As one of the shrewdest political game rolled out in Shikaripura, it was Yeddyurappa's steely nerves and his determination to rise like the proverbial phoenix that saw him through many a tricky situation.