BJP Strongman  Yediyurappa as CM  took  the extra step where welfare of  Muslims, SC/STs was concerned

BJP Strongman  Yediyurappa as CM  took  the extra step where welfare of  Muslims, SC/STs was concerned

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Milind Dharmasena

BENGALURU: It’s often said age is just a number. But for  Karnataka’s  BJP leader B S Yediyurappa, his age became a handicap, and he  had to abide by the  party’s unwritten  dictum of retiring  its  leaders from active politics after they  attain 75 years of age.  Though Yediyurappa beat the dictum  for three years, he  stepped down  from the Chief Minister’s post  in July, 2021. 

The Lingayat strongman turned 79 years old on Sunday and as  greetings poured in  from  across  the  country, the Lingayat strongman  holds a special place in the hearts of  the Muslims and Dalits. He demolished  the  general concept  that if a  BJP is at the helm of power,  the minorities and oppressed  become secondary  citizens. 

Speaking to  the New Delhi Chronicle,  BJP State  Minority   Wing President Syed Salam said  Yediyurappa was the first   CM to  provide more facilities to the Haj House in Bengaluru, a project which was pending for years. Besides Rs 1,500 crore   allocation  was made  for the  minorities in the 2021-2022 budget. Also Rs 200 crore  was earmarked for the Christian community for programmes including renovation and repair of churches, building of community halls, assistance to orphanages and old age homes. 

In 2018,  he suggested that the Haj House in Bengaluru be named after the late, former President Abdul Kalam Azad. The Haj House inaugurated   in 2016   is said to be the first of its kind in India, where  all formalities including immigration will be done for  Haj pilgrims. 

Salam recalled  that  whenever  a Muslim  came  to meet Yediyurappa,  the  former CM would attend to him first. “He  erased the reservations  among the Muslims that  BJP is anti-minorities, and  gave them  positions in the party,”  Salam added.

Former  BJP MLC and a Dalit leader D S Veeraiah.  said  in 2008,   as convenor of the election  manifesto committee,  he  had proposed sanction of land for the Chaluvadi (Right Wing of Dalits) Mahasabha . Yediyurappa sanctioned two acres for the Mahasabha  in Bengaluru. Also the SC/ST Development Corporation was bifurcated and  a separate corporation for the Banjaras or Lambanis who come under the SC category in Karnataka  was given.

The Karnataka State Minorities Commission  got a  fillip with a Buddhist   monk nominated  by Yediyurappa and to encourage  the SCs,  former  IPS officer Subhash Bharani, who joined  the BJP was made  chairman of the Karnataka Silk Industries Development Corporation.

The former CM was instrumental in sanctioning loan for the SC/STs from. The Karnataka State Finance Corporation at 4 percent per annum.

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