Yeddyurappa Lessons for Modi

Suggestions for Modi on how to deliver on his poll promises

5 Dont's for Modi to avoid the fate of Yeddyurappa in 2019
5 Dont's for Modi to avoid the fate of Yeddyurappa in 2019

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]t might be preposterous and even vain to compare and contrast Mr. Yeddyurappa, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Mr. Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India. But events that have unfolded during the two year tenure of Modi government are eerily similar to those of the first BJP government in South India. The BJP under the leadership of Mr. Yeddyurappa won a historic mandate in 2008 to govern the state of Karnataka after much instability and corruption. Mr. Modi’s victory was even more momentous but under similar circumstances with unbridled corruption and unstable coalition prevailing in the country for nearly a decade.

To refresh memories, Mr. Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister for three out of the five years before making an ignominious exit. His tenure was marked by poor judgments and strategic blunders that laid the foundation for a Congress comeback. In the election held at the end of the five year term, Congress gained an absolute majority while the BJP was reduced to a mere 40 seats from the 110 it had at the start of the term. Here are five “DON’Ts” for Mr. Narendra Modi to avoid a similar fate in 2019.

Don’t follow Congress policies – BJP was projected as “a party with a difference” during the state election. On occupying the corridors of power, Mr. Yeddyurappa continued to implement Congress policies. He failed to understand that most Congress policies, in the name of social justice, cater to political patronage and schemes are devised to reward castes and communities that voted the party to power. In the past twenty four months, Mr. Modi has similarly continued with implementation of many of Congress policies. His Finance Minister, unfortunately, does not understand “Big Bang Reforms”. Fresh thinking on black money, bold ideas on income tax, capping expenditure, downsizing government and abolishing outdated institutions are indeed required to transform India.

Don’t depend on Big Business for Job Creation – Mr. Yeddyurappa organized a Global Investor Meet believing that big business can create jobs. It turned out to be a photo-op. Finance Minister too has been led to believe by industry organizations that Land Bill, GST and recapitalizing Banks are necessary for job creation. Indian big businesses are mired in debt due to poor investment decisions of past and will take years to repair their balance sheets. There is plenty of global capital waiting to flow into India. In order to attract them, Modi government must support medium and small scale enterprises in their endeavor to become multinational corporations. It must ease rules and regulations for startups and entrepreneurs. Job creation for youth, an all important theme of Mr. Modi’s election campaign, will start to happen only when SME’s and startups begin to flourish.

Don’t be too slow to act – Both on policy as well as on performance, Mr. Yeddyurappa bungled. He presented three lackluster budgets, proposed no meaningful reforms and failed to decisively act on incompetent ministers. His cabinet was stacked with non-performers that led to factional wars and eventually to his demise. Mr. Modi too has been painstakingly slow in initiating reforms promised during campaign. For some strange reason, even during the current cabinet reshuffle he has failed to purge non-performing colleagues like the Finance Minister and Minister for Women and Child Development. Timely actions are a must to avoid electoral reversals.

Don’t allow fringe elements to dictate the narrative – At the start of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s term, there were a spate of attacks on non-Hindu places of worship by extremists. Various Hindu Organizations repeatedly raised the specter of moral policing by assaulting innocent women in the guise of protecting Indian culture. Ultimately, Mr. Yeddyurappa lost the perception battle. The Modi government too was greeted by a wave of attacks on churches and minorities. Mr. Modi will also lose the perception battle if he allows a narrative dictated by right wing elements ably assisted by a so called secular media to dominate.

Don’t Boast – Mr. Yeddyurappa periodically boasted that no party can dislodge his government from power for the next twenty years. He explained his stance by claiming that voters understood transformation requires time. BJP President, Mr. Amit Shah, boasted similarly at the National Executive last year that “Modi sarkar has arrived and is here to stay for the next 10-20 years” implying successive parliamentary election victories in 2019 and 2024. Voters are not pleased when political parties take them for granted. Boasting offends voters and if they decide to unleash their wrath on arrogance of power, BJP will be given the marching orders sooner than later.

Mr. Modi must strive to deliver on four or five non-congress big ticket items like altering the current caste based reservation system, linking rivers, downsizing government, modernizing railways etc.  For the sake of the country, Mr. Modi must discard Congress policies and embark on delivering promises made in the BJP manifesto with fresh thinking and innovative policies.

N. V. Krishnakumar is an investor and ardent follower of economic and political developments in India and United States. After graduating from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with a Masters in Public Finance and Policy, he returned to his hometown of Bengaluru. He is active politically and engages in civic activities.

He tweets at @envyk_blr.
N V Krishnakumar


  1. Writer comparing a rat to an elephant? Demise of BJP in Karnataka due to lobe reason yeddy stated own party and lted bjp share if votes. Some points are valid like fringe groups making noise and giving fodder for anti modi anti India forces like opposite parties PRESSItutes corrupts.

  2. We should not compare MODI with Yediyurappa. Yediyurappa is highly Communal, Corrupt and greedy after Power. The day he became President of BJP in the State he has started day dreaming that he is the Next CM of the State. In fact he has said this also openly. If he is projected as CM in Karnataka many will not vote BJP and in fact abstain from going to the polling booth even.

  3. It is time Modi distances himself from the Friends of Congress (FOC) and charts his own path of development. He is sure to make the right impression with his people friendly policies and help the country to move forward. People of India will certainly appreciate a PM who is willing to help his countrymen at every moment of need.
    Secondly, the wrong doers of the past 15 or 20 years must be brought to book soon. The impression among the people is that the corrupt and criminals are being helped by the FOC. Sooner this is corrected, better it will be for Modi and BJP.

  4. Former Karnataka Chief Minister was more interested in caste and family matters than of the state, he used his dictatorial character for wrong reasons (whereas Modi uses it for good reasons), he’s short tempered and of course mining and land scams happened during his tenure but one similarity that I agree about is that vested interests supported by so called secular oldest party become super active whenever BJP comes to power wether at the centre or state by attacking churches and etc. just to prove a point that minorities are not safe during BJP tenure. As it is BJP is tagged as a party of the upper caste Hindus hence its not that simple to come out of it especially if it ‘meddles’ with the present reservations system, it’ll take time. Comparing a self centred former Chief Minister to a selfless Modi is not fair in my opinion.

  5. First Governing a state like Karnataka can not be compared with India. Modi already has the experience of overning Gujarat for 12 long years inspite of villification by Congress party and the Media. Modi is a person of integrity so Yeddyurappa can not be compared with him. On Job creation also, Modi is not depending on big businesses as is evident from launch of MUDRA, Start Up and Stand Up India initiatives. His focus on agriculture and infrastructure also will generate jobs. The seeds have been sown and the results will be ready for every body to see in about two years time.

  6. There can be no big reason for despair at this stage. Modi and Shah are winning/doing well in elections after Bihar debacle.Going headlong for tricky reforms can be counter productive as one misplaced remark by Modi (the D N A ) and review of reservation policy at crucial times by Mohan Bhagwat cost the party dear.Banking on only development like Vajpayee Govt’s golden quadrangle and ignoring core emotional issues also cannot fetch victory.It’s a tight rope walk for him all the way while people wait for results of governance to manifest on the ground. When that happens it is sunshine for B J P for a long time.

  7. NV Krishnakumar is a journalist with a difference.He wrote an article about the familiar corporate idiots occupying the position on Bengaluru development.Both these articles are spot on.What krishnakumar must realise is that Modi is no fool.He must be continuously thinking and rejoicing that how far a chaiwallah has come decimating the morons from the more privileged backgrounds.Modi’s mind is a chaiwallah’s in other words a bania’s. He knows how to sneek in, how to manipulate people/issues to his benefit ,how to keep quiet so that people can make their own judgements.His appointment of Jaitley was the first clear indication which way he is going.He is planning to be a PM till his death and will do whatever it takes to be in seat of power.He never said he will fight corruption.he knows money can be made in different ways.What he wants is loyalty like the type a megalomaniac will need.At the moment we voters also need to be selfish.We had the most crooked UPA mafia headed by a crooked woman looting the country.It is better to bring a change which we did.Now in the next 2 years, BJP will stabilize.Time to look for a new leader within this party who will carry the agenda of clean politics.Let us look past Modi.I think BJP has talent and probably few honest men and women.I think you guys need to focus on this.Modi is now history just as yedurappa was in karnataka’s destiny.Finito..don’t waste time.

    • Having said what you have, right now there’s no one else in the background and looking at the available Clowns. Thus giving Modi another 5 years will become imperative

  8. Just right, if not why would Indians in hope voted him in power. One must remember how congress in spite of emergency won the elections. Whole of India is waiting to correct course, one just needs to lead rest will fall in place and continuity will be decided after that based on integrity of leader. It sure is getting postponed, from a man, who could fight all adversity, how can fail to see that. Like MMS who still has not lost his image in spite of all wrongs that happened, people still look at NAMO with hope. Act and rest will happen. Past canl be dealt with time he needs to deal with present and future.

  9. Yes, rightly presented the strategies for Mr. Modi Ji to adopt. For reform, bold steps must be taken. The fact is that the current finance minister lacks economic vision and knowledge. The current fin must be replaced by someone with vision and capability and educated.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here