Loyalty has paid rich dividends for Kapu Siddalingaswamy, close aide of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa. He has been elected as secretary of the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) that Yeddyurappa is supposed to lead in the coming days. On Friday, the KJP elected its officebearers at a meeting held at the party head office in Malleswaram.
V Dhananjaya Kumar was elected president, while MD Lakshminarayana and KH Srinivasa were appointed general secretary and senior vice-president respectively. The founder of the party, Padmanabha Prasanna Kumar, was elected secretary along with three others. Dhananjay Kumar will be the interim president of the party till Yeddyurappa is elected as the president of the party after it is officially launched.
Lakshminaryana, an MLC nominated by the BJP, created a stir on Friday after he joined the KJP and became an officebearer. However, the MLC argued that he was still an Independent and did not have any affiliation with the BJP.
Swamy, the right hand man of Yeddyurappa, has been with the latter through thick and thin for almost a decade. He was seen to be active alongside the former chief minister since Yeddyurappa became the opposition party leader between 2004 and 2006 during the JD(S)-Congress coalition government. Swamy was made personal secretary of Yeddyurappa when the latter became deputy-chief minister in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government.
In 2008, Yeddyurappa became the chief minister and Swamy was made special officer. When Yeddyurappa was in power, MLAs and even ministers would call Swamy first prior to meeting Yeddyurappa to gauge the chief minister’s mood. He was also often seen reminding Yeddyurappa on taking timely medication for his ailments.
Even after Yeddyurappa lost the post of chief minister, Swamy remained loyal. State BJP president, KS Eshwarappa, had once declared that the party would field Swamy against opposition leader Siddaramaiah from Varuna constituency in Mysore district in the forthcoming elections. Swamy had his dark side too — he was allegedly involved in the controversy pertaining to purchase of land in Sakelshpur.
Dhananjay Kumar later told the media: “BS Yeddyurappa will quit the BJP and join the party to lead us. And, it is going happen soon.” He also asserted that the KJP will not have any ties with the RSS. The party has approached the election commission to provide the cycle or a farmer tilling the land as its electoral symbol.