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Karnataka poll diary: Supporter dies of shock after Yeddyurappa resigns, and others

Chennabasappa’s distraught family says he was a huge fan of the former chief minister and could not bear to see him lose the chief minister’s chair.

Karnataka Elections 2018 Updated: May 21, 2018 09:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BS Yeddyurappa,BJP,Karnataka
BS Yediyurappa sits in his chair before addressing the Karnataka State Legislative Assembly and resigning from chief ministerial post at Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on May 19, 2018. (AFP)

Such is the level of passion that people invest in politics and political leaders that any change in fortunes deeply affects them.

A supporter of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, H Chennabasappa of Santhebennur taluk, Chennagiri district, suffered a massive heart attack and died after watching on television his leader losing the battle to prove a majority in the assembly. Yeddyurappa, 75, had resigned from the post of chief minister ahead of a Supreme Court-mandated floor test on Saturday.

Chennabasappa’s distraught family says he was a huge fan of the former chief minister and could not bear to see him lose the chief minister’s chair.

BSY hearing the news, has condoled the death and is expected to visit the deceased’s family to express his sympathies on Monday.

Off attires and oaths

Even as the Karnataka legislature was tense through the day as both the Congess-JD(S) coalition and the BJP made efforts till the last minute to ensure their side won, one MLA was the cynosure of all eyes, especially photographers and TV cameramen. Prabhu Chauhan, the BJP MLA from Aurad in Bidar district, had come in full regalia wearing a pink headdress and traditional rural attire.

It was during the oathtaking ceremony that the individual preferences of the MLAs truly came into play. Congress MLA from Kundgol Chanbasappa Shivalli took the oath in the name of BR Ambedkar, while JD(S)’s Manvi legislator took the oath in the name of his father and party leader HD Kumaraswamy.

Saffron party’s own Kaurava

The Kauravas are seen as the villains in the epic Mahabarata. For BJP, there is a real life Kaurava who seemed to have played spoilsport in their effort to cobble together a majority. BC Patil, a former sub-inspector, had a penchant for dramas. With his twirling moustache, he used to play the role of the Kaurava leader Duryodhana so well that he came to be known as Kaurava B C Patil.

He later graduated from dramas to movies, where he had middling success and subsequently jumped into politics . He had won the assembly polls from Hirekerur twice -- first on a JD(S) and then on a Congress ticket. This time, contesting on a Congress ticket, he barely scraped through to a win against his BJP opponent by a margin of 555 votes. The reason why the BJP camp is seeing a real-life villain in him is that he features in two of the audio tapes. He is being credited by the Congress camp with having “trapped” even Yeddyurappa himself, claiming to be ready to cross over with 3-4 other MLAs. Interestingly, Patil took the oath in the new assembly in the name of ‘Eeshwar and Allah’.

First Published: May 21, 2018 09:00 IST