Basavaraj S Bommai, who became the new Chief Minister of Karnataka on July 27, after BS Yediyurappa resigned, began his career with the Janata Dal and is among the very few Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) CMs who did not begin their political journey with the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The son of former Karnataka Chief Minister SR Bommai, Basavaraj Bommai is a member of the ‘Janata Pariwar’, who joined the BJP in 2008 and rose the ranks steadily to become the Leader of the BJP Legislature Party of Karnataka.
The 61-year-old leader is only the second outsider Chief Minister in a BJP-ruled state, with the exception of the northeast, where most current CMs started their careers with other political parties.
The other “outsider” BJP CM was Jharkhand’s Arjun Munda. Arjun Munda, who became the Jharkhand Chief Minister in 2003, made his political debut with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). He switched to BJP in the year 2000, just before the Assembly elections.
However, in the Northeast, where the BJP stealthily made inroads over the past years, there are five non-RSS politicians serving as chief ministers at present.
For instance, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb joined the saffron party after several years of association with other political parties.
Similarly, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was a prominent Congressman before he joined the BJP in 2014. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh also joined the saffron party very recently -- in 2017. Prior to that, he had been associated with the Congress party and the Democratic Revolutionary Peoples Party (DRPP).