Sixty-one-year-old Basavaraj Bommai, chosen by the BJP as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka, is known as a man who treads the middle path in a right-wing political outfit.
Known as a man who is not easily ruffled and has good parliamentary skills, he is known to be a troubleshooter for the BJP during the legislature stalemates as he also has cordial relationship across the political affiliations. Even during the turbulent times in the faction-ridden BJP, Mr. Bommai did not have many political detractors.
Politics and administration are not new to him, as he is the son of Janata Parivar stalwart late S.R Bommai, who had served as Chief Minister of the State and also Union Minister.
In fact, Mr. Basavaraj Bommai’s migration from a socialist party such as the Janata Dal (United) to the BJP in 2008 had raised many eyebrows, particularly in the wake of his father being a follower of Marxist M.N. Roy. But junior Bommai managed to assimilate into the BJP and also became its soft and progressive face.
He earned the goodwill of the BJP high command for staying with it when his mentor and BJP veteran B.S. Yediyurappa left the party in 2012. But that did not spoil his relationship with Mr. Yediyurappa as he remained his trusted lieutenant when the veteran leader returned to the BJP fold and also went onto become its Chief Minister.
Hailing from Hubballi, Mr. Basavaraj Bommai is one of the few prominent leaders from the region who have made it big in the State’s political landscape.
Mr. Basavaraj Bommai served as political secretary to the then Chief Minister J.H. Patel in 1996-97. In 1997, he was elected to the Legislative Council for the first time from the Local Bodies Constituency (Dharwad, Haveri, and Gadag area) and then went on to retain it in 2003. He was elected as Deputy Opposition Leader of the Upper House from 2000 to 2004. He is representing Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district in the Assembly for the third time in a row after joining the BJP.
An engineer by profession, he has vast administrative experience as he has held prominent portfolios such as Water Resources, Law, and Home and Parliamentary Affairs.