When Basavaraj Bommai (in pic) took over as Karnataka chief minister in end-July, the ‘compliment’ that became news came from a predecessor—H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular). Kumaraswamy told reporters that Bommai was a friend and, to him, a CM from the Janata parivar.
Bommai’s political roots trace back to the Janata Party—his father, the late S.R. Bommai ,was Karnataka CM in 1988-89. Back in the mid-1990s, Basavaraj Bommai served as political secretary to another Janata Dal chief minister, J.H. Patel, while going on to become a member of the legislative council later that decade. Following the party’s split, Bommai was in the Janata Dal (United) till 2008 when he joined the BJP.