Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is turning 77 next week, and the birthday boy is all set to have a mega bash at Bengaluru's Palace Grounds. The bash will have the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and four former Chief Ministers of Karnataka in participation, all of whom will talk about their association with Yediyurappa.
The date is February 27 and the bash, organised by his loyalists just after his fourth return to power a few months back, will also be a show of strength of sorts. It will include all MPs and MLAs and MLA candidates of the party from 2008 to now, besides district presidents of the party who will be coming together to help celebrate the day.
Considering that questions have been raised about Yediyurappa's functioning in the last couple of weeks, the CM will use the occasion to show that he enjoys the support of people from all regions. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi, besides the all-powerful BL Santosh, the BJP's National General Secretary (Organisation), will also be present.
Two books will be released on the occasion. One is a coffee-table book with photographs of Yediyurappa from his childhood and other stages of his political career. The other will be a collection of articles written about him from people close to him, collated by his media advisor Mahadev Prakash.
"We had requested 78 people to write about him, as he will be entering the 78th year of his life. But there were five additional pieces, so those are also included. These are write-ups by scholars like Chidananda Murthy and Prof Hampa Nagarajaiah, besides a few journalists and Cabinet colleagues," Prakash told News18, while iterating that this is only an event to felicitate Yediyurappa's achievements and no political meaning must be read into it.
Four ex-CMs including two from other parties — HD Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah, DV Sadananda Gowda and SM Krishna — have agreed to participate, he said.
"We could not do any such even when he completed 75 years, as elections were on at the time. He is a four-time CM, been leader of Opposition three times and party president three times. He has served as national secretary too of the party. For someone who has achieved so much, we could not hold such a felicitation programme earlier, but virtually for 50 years he has been in active politics," Prakash added.