Ever since Karnataka’s political suspense over a change of guard began, the name of Basavaraj Bommai has been among the list of probable candidates. Now, with the party officially announcing his name as the next Chief Minister of the state, the BJP leader will be stepping into a post his father S R Bommai once held.
Bommai senior was a Janata party leader and CM of Karnataka between 1988-89. Basavaraj Bommai too was in the Janata Dal (United) until 2008 when he joined the BJP.
As Home Minister in the previous dispensation headed by B S Yediyurappa -- who resigned on Monday after two years at the helm --- Bommai, 61, was one of the key spokesmen for the government, and often the government’s voice in debates in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Bommai is seen as a confidant of Yediyurappa and, like him, hails from the Lingayat community which is a key support base for the BJP in Karnataka.
Bommai, who served two terms as a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council early in his career, is currently an MLA from Shiggaon, a town in Haveri district in northern Karnataka. He first won the seat on a BJP ticket in 2008.
Bommai was chosen unanimously at a legislature party meeting in Bangalore on Tuesday evening. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, many party colleagues welcomed the choice, pointing to Bommai’s experience in administration.
In his first comments to reporters after the announcement, Bommai said he would strive for pro-people governance. Asked about the role Yediyurappa would play henceforth, Bommai said, “He is our leader, he will be our leader always and he will do all the mentoring.”
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: Karnataka CM elect Basavaraj S Bommai pic.twitter.com/FPSXRbB8ID— ANI (@ANI) July 27, 2021
In choosing Bommai as Yediyurappa’s successor, the BJP has signalled that it is keeping an eye out for the party’s prospects in the next state elections which are less than two years away. The term of the current assembly expires in April 2023.