Bommai's anointment as CM shows Yediyurappa still calls the shots
For many, the appointment of Basavaraj Bommai as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka was a surprise, but it underlines the fact even on his way out BS Yediyurappa still calls the shots in the state.
The choice of Bommai shows that Yediyurappa, the Lingayat strongman, still has considerable clout in the party. According to sources, Bommai was Yediyurappa’s choice and most leaders agreed to it. Known for his clean and non-controversial image, Bommai is considered among the close confidants of Yediyurappa.
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There was another factor that worked in favour of Bommai. The influential Lingayat community warned that the BJP would suffer a big loss in Karnataka if the party makes someone outside the community the next CM. Yediyurappa belongs to the Ganiga sub-sect while Bommai is a Sadar-Lingayat.
Bommai’s name also got a thumbs-up because of the long-pending demand for a leader from North Karnataka to be elevated to the top post.
“The new leader proposal was made by senior leader B S Yediyurappa and was supported by Govind Karjol, R Ashok, K S Eshwarappa, B Sriramulu, S T Somashekar, Poornima Srinivas, and the newly elected legislature party leader and new Chief Minister will be Basavaraj Bommai,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Bommai is expected to take oath as the chief minister on Wednesday (July 28).
Bommai, 61, a mechanical engineer, hails from Shiggaon in Haveri (North Karnataka). He is the son of the late SR Bommai, who served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka for eight months in 1988-89 as part of the Janata Dal-led government.
Bommai served as the Legislative Council member for two terms in 1998 and 2004. He left Janata Dal and joined the BJP in 2008. Subsequently, he got elected to the Legislative Assembly thrice.