2009-2019: A decade that belonged to Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa?

At the dawn of the last decade, he was the Chief Minister, and he is at the helm again as the decade drew to a close.

Published: 06th January 2020 04:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2020 04:47 AM   |  A+A-

Karnataka CM Yediyurappa

Karnataka CM Yediyurappa (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

Ten years is a long time, long enough to accommodate two football and cricket world cups, held once every four years, or even for two general elections, held once every five years.

Politically, although Karnataka too witnessed many noteworthy developments in the last 10 years, it was a decade that clearly belonged to Lingayat strongman B S Yediyurappa.

At the dawn of the last decade, he was the Chief Minister, and he is at the helm again as the decade drew to a close.

But, in these 10 years (2010-2019), Yediyurappa had to face the ignominy of resigning after facing corruption charges and even went to jail. The veteran leader left the party, resulting in BJP’s defeat in the 2013 elections.

Just when political pundits began to pick up their pens to write his political epitaph, he not only rose like a phoenix to be back in the BJP but brought the party back to power to become the Chief Minister for a fourth time -- all in one decade.

After a gap of nearly 30 years, the decade 2010-2019 also witnessed another Chief Minister completing a full tenure of five years. After Devaraj Urs, Siddaramaiah was the first CM to do so, before he lost the 2018 general elections.

SK Krishna could have completed a full term of five years, but had called early elections and regretted later. Coalition politics continued till 2013 elections when Congress, under Siddaramaiah’s leadership, came to power on its own. However, that was the only good development for the grand old party in the entire decade.

In fact, the party that was a formidable force in the state -- so much so that Indira Gandhi and her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi had turned to this state when they faced a tough challenge in North -- has now hit its lowest ebb.

In 2018, the party lost the assembly elections, and in 2019, it hit a record low of winning just one out of 28 Lok Sabha seats. Its performance was no better than that of regional party Janata Dal (Secular) or an independent. Each of them had one seat each in LS polls. The Congress faced its worst-ever crisis. So much so that stalwarts like Mallikarjuna Kharge, Veerappa Moily and KH Muniyappa lost the LS polls.

It was no better for the JDS. Though the party had managed to make most of fractured mandate in 2018 elections to return to power briefly, it is now facing an existential crisis. Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy lost Lok Sabha polls when Kumarswamy was in power.
As political analyst Prof Harish Ramaswamy puts it, in the last one decade, politics lost its lustre in terms of its public discourse. Politics has been more in terms of programmes and assurances rather than major policy decisions, with the latter holding promise to directly impacting citizens, he said.

The decade that was

  • As Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah was first in three decades to complete a full term of five years (2013-18)

  • B S Yediyurappa resigned as CM and went to jail. All cases against him were quashed later and he returned to power as CM.

  • Congress’s lost ground, recording its worst-ever performance in Lok Sabha polls in 2019 when it won just one seat.

  • BJP created history by winning 25 out of 28 LS seats.

  • For the first time, many stalwarts like Mallikarjuna Kharge,

  • KH Muniyappa lost LS polls.

  • JDS supremo and former PM HD Deve Gowda too was defeated in LS polls.

  • HD Kumaraswamy got one more opportunity to become CM, but lost power in 18 months.

  • Big farm loan waiver announced by the JDS-Congress coalition government.

  • For the first time, surfeit of ‘Bhagya’ of schemes, including ‘Anna bhagya’, rolled out during Siddramaiah government.

  • State suffered the worst-ever floods in decades

  • HN Ananth Kumar, 59, Karnataka

  • BJP’s face in the national capital died in 2018. Along with BS Yediyurappa and a few other senior BJP leaders, Ananth Kumar had played a key role in building the party in the state.

  • The big switch: 17 MLAs -- 14 from the Congress and three from the JDS -- disqualified by the Assembly Speaker after they violated party whips and abstained from Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s trust vote in 2019. The government collapsed paving the way for the return of a BJP government. The apex court upheld their disqualification, but allowed them to contest elections. Eleven of them won as BJP candidates in bypolls held on December 2019. They are likely to be made ministers.

  • Three DyCMs: For the first time in the state, three deputy CM’s were appointed in the BJP government in 2019. In his earlier stint as CM, Yediyurappa had two DyCMs.

  • Lokayukta weakened: Once powerful Lokayukta institution was weakened by the Congress government led by Siddaramaiah by taking away its powers and establishing Anti-Corruption Bureau headed by a police officer. Lokayukta is headed by a retired judge.


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