Bengaluru: From the humdrum existence as a government clerk and a hardware storeowner to becoming the chief minister for a fourth time, B S Yediyurappa has navigated the choppy waters of politics with the consummate ease of a seasoned oarsman.The rare smile is back on the ever grim-looking Yediyurappa’s face as he took over as the chief minister, 14 months after he demitted the office, unable to prove the majority in the State Assembly. In a repeat of sorts, it has not been an easy ascent to power for the 76-year-old Lingayat strongman this time too as a murky legal battle and weeks of political drama preceded his takeover. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Losing power after having come so close, Yediyurappa was determined to regain the reins of power from H D Kumaraswamy, whose party JD(S) cobbled up a post poll alliance with the Congress and managed to overthrow his three-day-old BJP government on May 19, 2018. Yediyurappa had to resign as CM as he could not muster a majority after staking claim to form the government on the ground that his party had emerged as the single largest one. Another interesting element in Yediyurappa’s struggle to power this time is, it is being seen as his last chance, considering his age and BJP’s policy of retirement from electoral politics to its leaders who have crossed 75. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KA hardboiled RSS swayamsevak, 76-year-old Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yediyurappa joined the Hindu right organisation when he was barely 15, and cut his political teeth in the Jana Sangh, the BJP’s forerunner, in his hometown Shikaripura in Shivamogga district. He became the Jana Sangh’s Shikaripura taluk chief in the early 1970s. Yediyurappa, who began his electoral politics as Purasabha president in Shikaripura, was first elected to the Assembly from Shikaripura in 1983 and went on to win eight times from there. Along with being party’s state unit president, he has also served as opposition Leader in the Legislative Assembly, member of Legislative Council, as also member of parliament. He is known to have espoused the cause of farmers. A Bachelor of Arts, Yediyurappa, who was jailed during Emergency, worked as a clerk in the social welfare department before taking up a similar job at a rice mill in his native Shikaripura before he set up his hardware shop in Shivamogga. He married Maitradevi, daughter of the rice mill owner, where he worked, on March 5, 1967 and has two sons and three daughters. Yediyurappa may have landed in the hot seat in 2004 when the BJP emerged as the single largest party, but the Congress and JD(S) of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda formed an alliance, and a government was formed under Dharam Singh. Known for his political acumen, Yediyurappa joined hands with Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda’s son, in 2006 and brought down the Dharam Singh government after the chief minister was indicted by Lokayukta in an alleged mining scam. Under a rotational chief ministership arrangement, Kumaraswamy became the CM and Yediyurappa his deputy. Yediyurappa became CM for the first time in November 2007 but his term lasted just seven days as Kumaraswamy reneged on a power sharing pact and walked out of the alliance. He was made the chief minister once again after the BJP came to power in May 2008 but had to step down in July 2011 following his indictment by the then Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde in an illegal mining case. In the 2008 polls, Yediyurappa led the party to victory, and the first BJP government in the south was formed under him. Soon controversies swirled around Yediyurappa over alleged abuse of office to favour his sons in allotment of land in Bengaluru and he was forced to resign on July 31, 2011 following indictment by Lokayukta in an illegal mining scam. On October 15 that year, he surrendered before the Lokayukta court after it issued a warrant against him in connection with alleged land scams, and was in jail for a week.