No big birthday bash this

Larger-than-life posters and cutouts lining the Race Course Road and running well into B S Yeddyurappa’s house may have been the only “intimidating factors” during the early morning birthday celebrations hosted by the loyalists of the 69-year-old BJP leader. 

For, the celebrations failed to pack a punch.The event was tailored for Yeddyurappa to communicate to his party bosses he is a force to reckon with, at least among his community and religious leaders.

Besides his trusted lieutenants, even K S Eshwarappa and Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda made it a point to wish him personally.

Reacting to Yeddyurappa’s plans to tour the State, Eshwarappa said any such tour would only strengthen the party. Yeddyurappa’s service to farmers is commendable, he added. Niramala Sitharaman, BJP spokesperson, also visited Yeddyurappa and wished him.

In the morning, it was the turn of Sadananda Gowda to offer Yeddyurappa flowers and fruits. But Gowda could meet his predecessor only after waiting for 30 minutes. By force of habit, Gowda, when asked to comment on Yeddyurappa, said: “I have already given a byte at the CM’s office (meaning Yeddyurappa’s house).”     

Muthappa Rai, who heads the Jai Karnataka outfit, also visited Yeddyurappa. Rai later told reporters that he considered the BJP leader his political mentor. Ashok Kheny, the promoter of BMIC, met the former chief minister.

Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai, Murugesh Nirani, R Ashoka and V Somanna were present with their leader throughout the day.

Yeddyurappa visited Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur and a couple of temples in the morning. Dollu Kunitha and Veeraghase artistes staged performances near his house. Some Lingayat mutt swamis, too, gathered to ‘bless’ him.

Cake cuttingWhile blind students from IDL Foundation sang the birthday song, Yeddyurappa cut one too many cakes. He has come under criticism for feeding cake to blind children with a knife. He was also was “weighed down” by the innumerable garlands, including a 6-foot-tall garland brought by Minister V Somanna. Yeddyurappa had no formal interaction with media persons. He also held no meetings with his supporters. 

AltercationSupporters of Somanna roughed up a man, who was present during the celebrations, for allegedly attacking their leader. Somanna’s henchmen beat up Vishwanath, before dragging and throwing him out of the gate.

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