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This article is more than 2 month old.

Meet Basavaraj Bommai, the new chief minister of Karnataka

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Though Bommai is not an RSS man, his close association with Yediyurappa and a cordial relationship with several leaders across party lines in the state positioned him as the BJP’s preferred choice for the new guard.

Meet Basavaraj Bommai, the new chief minister of Karnataka
Basavaraj Bommai took oath as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka. Bommai was elected as the chief minister during the Karnataka BJP legislature meet which was attended by central observers Dharmendra Pradhan and G Kishan Reddy apart from the state party leaders.
Bommai, who hails from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, will replace BS Yediyurappa, the Lingayat strongman in the state. The 61-year-old leader is said to be a close confidante of the outgoing CM who rose in ranks. He was the incumbent Home Minister.
In fact, Yediyurappa was among the first to congratulate Bommai. In a tweet, Yediyurappa said, "I am confident you will lead Karnataka in the path of development and fulfill the aspirations of people of the state." Bommai replied that he has no problem working under the guidance of the outgoing CM.
Bommai started his political career with the youth wing of the Janata Dal after a short stint in the corporate sector. He is a graduate in Mechanical engineering and has worked with Tata Motors in Pune before joining politics. Following his father's footsteps, former chief minister SR Bommai joined electoral politics and won from Dharwad seat in 1999 on a Janata Dal ticket. In the 2004 elections, he retained the seat.
Bommai junior defected from the Janata Dal (United) with 22 other party functionaries in 2008 to join BJP. In the 2008 polls, he won from the Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district and was rewarded with the Water Resources Ministry in the Yediyurappa government.
Ironically, Bommai’s father, a well-known leader of Janata Party and Janata Dal, SR Bommai was Karnataka chief minister between 1988 and 1989. He is known for fighting a landmark anti-defection case after which the Supreme Court laid down the guidelines on the use of Article 356 on imposing President’s rule on states by the Centre. The judgement in the SR Bommai vs Union of India case is still referred to as a defining moment in the history of Constitutional law in India.
However, despite his roots in Janata era socialist politics, Bommai junior emerged as a tall leader within the BJP and rose in ranks to become the Home Minister in the Yeddiyurappa government. He is seen as an appropriate successor to Yediyurappa as he comes from the same Lingayat community as Yediyurappa. He has a good track record as a minister, too. The BJP was looking for another Lingayat leader as the community comprises about 17 percent population in the state and it has remained the party’s main vote bank for over a decade.
Though Bommai is not an RSS man, his close association with Yediyurappa and a cordial relationship with several leaders across party lines in the state positioned him as the BJP’s preferred choice for the new guard.
Following his elevation, Bommai told media persons, "It is a big responsibility in the given situation. I will strive to work for the welfare of the poor. It will be pro-people and pro-poor people governance. "