Basavaraj Bommai was on Tuesday chosen as the new chief minister of Karnataka, replacing B. S. Yediyurappa who resigned on Monday. The decision was taken at a meeting of the BJP legislature party, which was attended by Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, G Kishan Reddy and senior BJP leaders Arun Singh and Nalin Kateel who were sent as central observers to Karnataka.
The 61-year-old leader, a close confidante of Yediyurappa, was Minister for Home Affairs, Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislature in Yediyurappa's council of ministers which was dissolved on Monday. He was also the minister in-charge of Haveri and Udupi Districts.
With his origins in the Janata Parivar, the new chief minister is from the politically influential Lingayat community. He belongs to the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community to which Yediyurappa also belongs. The community accounts for 16-17 per cent of the state's
population and is counted as a key vote-base of BJP.
His father SR Bommai had also served as Karnataka CM in 1980s.
Bommai had joined the BJP in 2008. Earlier, he held the portfolio of water resources. He is an engineer by profession and began his career with the Tata group.
As far as his political career is concerned, Bommai kickstarted when he joined the Janata Dal. He became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council twice, in 1997 and 2003, from Dharwad local authorities constituency.
The Lingayat face had also served as Political Secretary to Chief Minister J H Patel and as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the council.
However, he quit the Janata Dal (United) and joined the BJP in February, 2008. In the assembly elections held later that year, Bommai was chosen as MLA from Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district. Infact, he managed to retain the seat in the 2013 and 2018 assembly polls.