Basavaraj Bommai will be new Karnataka CM, BJP picks 61-year-old to replace Yediyurappa

Basavaraj Bommai, 61, is a close confidante of Yediyurappa and a Lingayat leader like him. He will take oath as Karnataka CM Wednesday.

Basavaraj Bommai (left) with outgoing chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa | Twitter: @BSBommai
Basavaraj Bommai (left) with outgoing chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa | Twitter: @BSBommai

New Delhi: Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has been chosen as the state’s chief minister, a day after incumbent B.S. Yediyurappa stepped down. 

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the central observer who was sent to the state, made the announcement after a closed-door BJP legislature party meeting in Bengaluru Tuesday. 

In choosing the 61-year-old Bommai, the BJP has decided to stick with a leader from the influential Lingayat community, which is 16 per cent of the state’s population and has a say in 100 of the state’s 224 assembly seats. 

A state party leader told ThePrint that apart from being a close confidante of Yediyurappa, what worked in Bommai’s favour were caste arithmetic and his administrative grasp. 

Lingayat seers had put on a show of strength for Yediyurappa, also from the community. 

“Through a show of strength, Yediyurappa increased his bargaining power and ensured that his successor is from his choice and from his community,” said a senior BJP leader. 

Swearing-in tomorrow

Bommai is to be sworn in as Karnataka chief minister Wednesday. 

He belongs to the Sadara Lingayat community and his father, S.R. Bommai, had also served as chief minister of Karnataka. 

The 61-year-old began his political career with the Janata Dal (United) and joined the BJP in 2008. An engineer by profession, Bommai was elected as a member of the Karnataka legislative council twice.

Outgoing chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa congratulated Bommai on his elevation. 

Congratulations to Shri @BSBommai on being elected as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka. I am confident you will lead Karnataka in the path of development and fulfill the aspirations of people of the state,” Yediyurappa tweeted. 

Yediyurappa had announced his resignation Monday, following months of speculation over a change of leadership in the state. 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

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