Yediyurappa credits Ananthkumar for BJP's growth in Karnataka


Bengaluru, Sep 23 (IANS): Claiming that he became Chief Minister of Karnataka for four times because of H.N. Ananthkumar, B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday credited the veteran leader for the ruling BJP's growth in the southern state.

"I owe my four-time chief ministership to Ananthkumar because of whose efforts the party grew in Karnataka and came to power in South India," said Yediyurappa on the former's 61st birth anniversary celebration here.

Though the former Union Minister was born on July 22, 1959, the event could not be held on that day due to the COVID-induced lockdown restrictions on such events to contain the pandemic spread.

Ananthakumar passed away in Bengaluru on November 12, 2018 after a brief illness.

Recalling his three-decades-old association with the late leader, Yediyurappa said Ananthkumar's leadership qualities were well known since he was an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

"Ananthkumar's contribution in building the party in the state was immense and he had won from the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency for a record 6 times to become central minister for three times since 1998," recalled Yediyurappa.

Terming Ananthkumar a humanist, the Chief Minister said the late leader was all the time engaged in the welfare of the people across the state.

"We worked together in building the party in the state, travelling on bicycles and buses to every taluk and having food together at some friend's house. I am nostalgic about those days, which bring tears to my eyes," Yediyurappa noted.

"The Pratishthana is carrying Ananthkumar's legacy by providing leadership development and training and public policy research," said Yediyurappa.

The state government has earmarked Rs 20 crore in the 2020-21 budget for funding the activities of the Pratishthana and Rs 5 crore has been given as the first instalment.

The Chief Minister also lauded Tejaswani for pursuing Ananthkumar's ideals through Adamya Chetana, a charitable organisation, they had set up to provide food, education and healthcare for the poor.

Yediyurappa, 77, became the BJP's first Chief Minister in South India in October 2007 when the party was in power with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in the state but resigned when the ally withdrew support to him in November, leading to the President's rule.

Yediyurappa became Chief Minister for the second time when the party came to power on its own for the first time in May 2008. He, however, resigned in July 2011 after he was indicted by then Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde in the multi-crore mining scam that rocked the state from 2002-10.

For the third time, Yediyurappa was the state's Chief Minister for three days from May 17-19, 2018, as he resigned from the executive post since the BJP fell eight seats short for a simple majority in the 225-member legislative assembly after it won only 105 seats in the May 2018 assembly elections.

Yediyurappa became Chief Minister for the fourth time on July 26, 2019 after the 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government fell on July 23, 2019 when its Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy failed to win the trust vote due to the withdrawal of support by 17 rebels of both the allies.

  

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