This little-known BE grad engineered ‘Operation Lotus’

This little-known BE grad engineered ‘Operation Lotus’

N R Santosh

N R Santosh is one name that grabbed headlines in the last few weeks, triggering much curiosity. Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and many legislators referred to him during the discussion on the trust vote.

Santosh was not much known, till he became Yediyurappa’s personal assistant four years ago.

“He earned Yediyurappa’s trust through his organising skills,” a senior BJP leader told DH. A BE graduate from Kalpataru Institute of Technology,  Tiptur in Tumakuru district, Santosh hails from Nonavinakere in the district. He is the grandson of Yediyurappa’s sister.

In college, he was actively involved with ABVP and RSS. After graduation, he shifted to Bengaluru.

Yediyurappa needed an youngster who could execute plans that his sons could not. As he was a relative, Santosh was chosen for the job.

“He took over scheduling of Yediyurappa’s routine from Kapu Siddalingaswamy. Yediyurappa’s trust in him doubled as he successfully completed tasks,” the BJP leader said.

The formation of Sangolli Rayanna Brigade by Yediyurappa’s arch rival K S Eshwarappa, in a way, was the turning point in Santosh’s life. In May 2017, the police registered a case against him on the charge of attempting to abduct Eshwarappa’s PA Vinay Bidre over a CD that reportedly contained information about the Brigade’s plans.

Santosh’s name was publicly heard after he went underground. The police even attempted to enter Yediyurappa’s residence during the wee hours to detain him.

During the peak days of the Brigade, Santosh was often spotted with Yediyurappa as he would handle legislators and leaders well, besides deftly undertaking sensitive tasks.

Sources said, Santosh arranged flights, booked tickets for rebel MLAs in Mumbai and Delhi and made arrangements for their stay there.

“He may be shortly given a position in the party or government,” the BJP leader said.