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This Time Yeddyurappa Owed His Victory to Modi and Shah, But He Did Not See This Roadblock Coming

As expected the Lingayats backed the BJP fully because of their caste leader Yeddyurappa and the Vokkaligas supported the JDS in large numbers. The BJP getting Reddy brothers on board also seems to have worked in favour of the saffron party.

News18

Updated:May 15, 2018, 6:34 PM IST
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This Time Yeddyurappa Owed His Victory to Modi and Shah, But He Did Not See This Roadblock Coming
Seen here is BJP CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa.
Bengaluru: There was no visible wave. But the undercurrent worked in BJP’s favour, except they fell short just by a whisker. At first it seemed like a repeat of 2008 when the BJP came to power in Karnataka for the first time. Then it was B S Yeddyurappa’s victory. Now, it is PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah’s victory. Because B S Yeddyurappa played the second fiddle to both and allowed them to lead the campaign.

Till the last week of April, the BJP campaign was uninspiring. The PM Modi landed in Karnataka in the last week and unleashed a blitzkrieg. The ruling Congress was in denial. The Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was confident of a win. But Yeddyurappa started looking more confident and declared at every rally that he would be the Chief Minister and he would have had had the BJP juggernaut not come to a halt just before the finish line. Notwithstanding, BJP's dramatic halt just when victory seemed easy, Yeddyurappa did win handsomely.

As expected the Lingayats backed the BJP fully because of their caste leader Yeddyurappa and the Vokkaligas supported the JDS in large numbers. The BJP getting Reddy brothers on board also seems to have worked in favour of the saffron party.

The Congress’s populist schemes, localised campaign and the Lingayat religion issues have not yielded the desired results. Siddaramaiah even lost the Chamundeshwari contest but Badami saved him from complete embarrassment. The Modi–Shah led BJP turned the same things against Congress and ran a powerful campaign. It was more about national issues with a local touch.

To counter Congress’ Kannada pride, the BJP also deftly played the Kannada card. Both Modi and Shah quoted extensively from Kannada literature and even visited several memorials of Kannada icons during their campaign trail.

Yeddyurappa, who had dealt a body blow to the BJP in 2013 by quitting the party to form his own KJP, returned to mother party before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In 2016 he became BJP state chief and a year later he was officially made the CM candidate.

But the campaign and strategy were handled from Delhi and Yeddyurappa was just a face. Speaking to this reporter a month ago, Yeddyurappa had said that BJP high command had backed him fully and he was grateful for that.

“Both PM Modi and Amit Shah have faith in me. They have backed me fully. Without them it was difficult for us to take Siddaramaiah,” he had said.



Yeddyurappa is now 75 and has already declared that it is his last election. “Because of our own internal fighting we lost the power in 2013. I want to salvage myself by bringing the party back to power this time,” he had said.

The Gowda clan has taken a revenge on Siddaramaiah for insulting them in the last five years. But they too have lost by failing to create a hung Assembly. And Yeddyurappa does not like both.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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