Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 28 (ANI): Son of former Chief Minister of Karnataka SR Bommai, a mechanical engineering graduate and former Janata Dal (United) leader Basavaraj Somappa Bommai has been appointed the Karnataka's 23rd Chief Minister by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command.
Born on January 28, 1960, Bommai belongs to the Sadara Lingayat caste, same as his predecessor BS Yediyurappa who announced his resignation on Monday.
With the Lingayats being the largest community of Karnataka comprising nearly 17 per cent of the population, the BJP has kept a hold on the community, which also has long backed the ruling party.
The community is known to have some firm supporters of the BJP and Yediyurappa and can determine the outcome in 35 to 40 per cent Assembly seats.
Many in the BJP say the announcement of Bommai as his successor is a win for BS Yediyurappa.
The former Karnataka Home Minister is a senior BJP leader and has previously handled many portfolios including Irrigation, Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislature of Karnataka in the fourth Yediyurappa ministry.
He has also served as Haveri and Udupi District Incharge Minister. He previously served as Minister for Water Resources and Cooperation between 2008 and 2013.
He fought for the Cauvery issue and is Yediyurappa's close aide and follower. He is also known to have good contact with the party high command in Delhi as well as leaders of different communities in the party.
Bommai is a three-time Member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Shiggaon since 2008 and was a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council between 1998 and 2008. He is widely acclaimed for his contributions to innumerable irrigation schemes and deep knowledge regarding irrigation matters in the state.
He is also credited with implementing India's first 100 per cent piped irrigation project at his constituency Shiggaon in Haveri district.
The 61-year-old started his political career with the Janata Dal (United). He left the party to join the BJP in February 2008. In the 2008 Karnataka state elections, he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Shiggaon.
With his upgrade to the Chief Minister's post, others who were lobbying for the seat, including Basangouda Patil Yatnal and Arvind Bellad, are now in line to get their names in the new Chief Minister's cabinet.
As per the sources, Yediyurappa's deputy Govind Karjol from the Dalit community is likely to continue in his post. B Sriramulu from the Valmiki community and R Ashok from the Vokkaliga community will also be chosen as the Deputy Chief Ministers of Karnataka.
Dr K Sudhakar, ST Somashekar, Gopalaiah and many other ministers are likely to be changed or dropped. New faces are expected in Basavaraja Bommai's cabinet. (ANI)