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2-min read

At Birthday Celebrations of This Karnataka Leader No One Was Allowed to Mention His age

When a big crowd cheered Yeddyurappa wrapped in a green shawl on turning 75, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was by his side at Davanagere in central Karnataka.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:February 27, 2018, 6:02 PM IST
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At Birthday Celebrations of This Karnataka Leader No One Was Allowed to Mention His age
BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa turned 75 on Tuesday.

Bengaluru: The BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa turned 75 on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew down from New Delhi to greet him "Happy Birthday. When a big crowd cheered Yeddyurappa wrapped in a green shawl on turning 75, the PM was by his side at Davanagere in central Karnataka. Modi felicitated Yeddyurappa by giving him a plough. Yeddyurappa's birthday was celebrated as "farmers' meet". The Prime Minister seems to have broken the rule he had set for other top BJP leaders: barring them from holding any ministerial posts once they turn 75.

Yeddyuraapa is aware of it and had doubts over whether the party will continue to project him as its CM face in Karnataka, which will be voting in May. But the Prime Minister has put an end to all doubts and speculations declaring that Yeddyurappa will be their chief minister if the BJP is voted to power.

However, it did not stop Yeddyurappa's followers from cautioning others in the party not to mention his age in their newspaper/TV advertisements, hoardings, tweets and Facebook posts. Even the top leaders of the party, including former chief ministers DV Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar, did not mention his age in their tweets wishing him a "happy birthday". But the Union Parliamentary Affairs, Chemicals and Fertilizers minister Ananth Kumar mentioned his age 75 in his tweet, greeting the one-time mentor turned rival in the party.

The state BJP in its official birthday greeting carefully avoided mentioning his age.

#BelieveInBSY #RaitaBandhuBSY

Ever since Yeddyurappa was made BJP’s CM face in the crucial Karnataka polls, both his critics and admirers often doubted the possibility of him taking oath as the CM once again if the BJP is voted to power considering the fact that he would be 75 even before the polling.

A whispering campaign in the party had also caused a lot of tension to him. However, he had repeatedly denied the reports that the party high command might make him a part of the Margdarshak Mandal.

Both the ruling Congress and the opposition JDS have taken a jibe at Modi and Yeddyurappa. The Congress spokesman and advocate Brijesh Kalappa said that Yeddyurappa should be made a member of Margdarshak Mandal to keep Modi’s word that no leader above the age of 75 can hold ministerial positions in the party.

The JDS state chief and former CM HD Kumaraswamy has also taken a swipe at Yeddyurappa wishing him a happy “retired” life. Speaking to News18, he said: “The PM had promised that no one above the age of 75 would get ministerial posts and has kept top leaders like LK Advani, MM Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Shanta Kumar, Najma Heftullah, Kalraj Mishra and others out. Hope he will replace Yeddyurappa with someone else for the post of CM candidate”.

According to political analysts, the TINA factor (There Is No Alternative) is the reason for the BJP high command to make an exemption for Yeddyurappa.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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