Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, it seems, is a strong believer in astrology and each of his moves is predefined based on astrological predictions. The 78-year-old has to his credit being the CM of the first-ever BJP-led government in South India in 2007 and subsequently the first-ever BJP CM in South India in 2008. 

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The Karnataka chief minister, popularly known as BSY, till 2007, used to spell his name as ‘Yediyurappa’. So what has changed now? It did change to Yeddyurappa then, as advised by his astrologer and stayed the same till July 26, 2019. It is on this day just hours before taking the oath, Yeddyurppa again became Yediyurappa, officially.

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The ‘d’ vs ‘i’

In 2004, the BJP under the leadership of Yediyurappa formed an uneasy alliance with JDS under HD Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda’s son, based on the rotating CM formula. In 2007, it was the turn of the JDS to hand over power to the BJP and it refused to keep up the promise, thus denying BSY the chief ministership after 20 months of partnership. 

Just a week later, on the basis of an astrologer’s advice, BSY changed the spelling of his name from ‘Yediyurappa’ to ‘Yeddyurappa’. The astrologer had advised him to add a ‘d’ after ‘d’ as the double-d would remove negativity. The new name was even notified through an affidavit and through newspapers (October 11, 2007). 

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It worked for him and he managed to get hold of the CM’s chair after convincing Team HDK, but for just seven days. HD Devegowda’s party, JDS, broke the alliance over portfolio sharing in the government.

But BSY didn’t lose confidence in that extra ‘d’. 

In 2008, he stormed back to power, opening a gateway to the south for his party, the BJP.  On May 30, the first-ever Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was formed in Karnataka, led by BS Yeddyurappa. He served till 2011 before he was coerced into stepping down over corruption allegations by his party of several decades.

Even then, the Lingayat leader chose to blame the party and not the extra ‘d’. Sulking over the resignation, BSY quit the party and formed the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) in 2012, he retained ‘Yeddyurappa’ though. 

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BSY did dent the BJP’s vote-bank but couldn’t get a big share in 2013 polls, when Congress stormed back to power with 122 seats in the 224-member assembly. Soon after, the two sides – the BJP and BSY – decided to patch up and KJP was merged with the BJP on January 9, 2014. Next, he contested from Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency on a BJP ticket in 2014 general elections, and won.

In 2018, BJP contested the assembly election projecting BSY as the CM candidate. The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the state winning 104 seats, nine short of the majority mark 113. He took oath as CM for the third time in 2018, but lost the floor test. The Congress-JDS combined formed the government.

Clearly, the ‘d’ didn’t work much to BSY’s favour, as suggested by people close to the BJP leader. “All three times, he was CM from just a few days to a few months, never completing the full five-year term. Now, based on an astrologer’s advice, it is back to Yediyurappa,’’ a senior BJP leader told the New Indian Express, on the condition of anonymity.

So when the BJP leader had to take the oath as the chief minister in 2019 after the collapse of the Congress-JDS government, he didn’t take the chance. 

Just hours before the oath-taking ceremony, he changed Yeddyurappa to Yediyurappa and walked into the state assembly at just the ‘right time’, not a minute over.

Now, his name is back to Yediyurappa in all official communications. But, looks like the alphabet has not come to his rescue this time. After completing two years in office,  Yediyurappa announced on Monday that he was resigning as the chief minister of Karnataka.