BANGALORE: Rocked by a spate of scams and in the wake of a damning indictment by a Lokayukta report on illegal mining, the 38-month tenure of Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa as chief minister of the first ever BJP government in the South came to an abrupt end on Sunday.
Sunday’s resignation brings the curtain down on the rule of Yeddyurappa whose term in office was marked by intermittent rebellion from his own party men seeking his ouster and opposition protests demanding his resignation over allegations of corruption, nepotism and favouritism.
An ardent RSS activist, Yeddyurappa dragged his feet over putting in his papers initially, but gave in to the diktat of the party high command, after it took a serious view of his defiance.
Credited with playing a pivotal role in installing the maiden BJP government in the South, Yeddyurappa began his innings on a controversial note facing huge public outcry for the police firing on farmers in Haveri, a north Karnataka district town, within ten days of assuming office in 2008.
Yeddyurappa faced a political coup staged by Bellary mining magnate G Janardhana Reddy in September 2009, after he ferried more than 60 BJP MLAs to Hyderabad and Goa seeking his ouster at a time when most parts of North Karnataka was devastated by floods following heavy rain.
The BJP high command’s intervention managed to defuse the crisis and helped him stay in power but he had to bow to the demand of rebels to sacrifice his trusted aide Shobha Karandlaje from the ministry and also a key official in his secretariat.
Even as Yeddyurappa began to consolidate his position, the opposition JDS accused him of nepotism and favouritism by denotifying lands and allotting lands in favour of his sons, son-in-law and other family members.
Unfazed by former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s attack on him, Yeddyurappa also hit back at the JDS leader’s family levelling similar allegations against them also.
The 68-year-old Yeddyurappa faced yet another threat to his chair when 11 BJP rebels and five independents, who supported his government, shot off a letter to Governor H R Bhardwaj on October six last year, withdrawing support.
Yeddyurappa had to face floor test twice in a gap of three days between October 11-14. The Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah’s order disqualifying the rebels, was ultimately set aside by the Supreme Court during this May.