Karnataka BJP Vice President and former chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra on Monday said he will contest the 2023 state assembly polls, if the party’s central leadership gives its nod.
He maintained that the party leadership will take a decision at an appropriate time regarding his candidacy, and that Yediyurappa announcing him as candidate from the family bastion of Shikaripura for the polls, was under pressure from people there, which is subject to the party’s approval.
”There is no confusion, my father and former CM B S Yediyurappa has a very strong relationship with the Shikaripura constituency, so on the pressure from party leaders, workers and people of the constituency, he made an announcement. He also has said the party and its central leadership will decide,” Vijayendra told reporters here.
”…if the party approves, I will contest the polls,” the younger son of Yediyurappa, who is largely seen as his political heir apparent, added.
Signalling the end of his electoral politics, Yediyurappa last Friday said he will be vacating his Shikaripura assembly seat in Shivamogga district, and that Vijayendra will be contesting the polls from there.
The Lingayat strongman, however, on Saturday clarified that only the party’s central leadership can decide on tickets to contest polls.
Incidentally, the clarification came on a day when Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai met Yediyurappa at the latter’s residence.
Asked if a leader like Yediyurappa, who built the party in the state for decades, doesn’t have the independence to choose a political successor for his constituency, Vijayendra said, ”This is BJP, a national party and there is no question of a successor in this party”.
”Yes, it is true that Yediyurappa strived for 30 to 40 years to build this party, the organisation and its workers; in the same way, the BJP has also given position and respect to Yediyurappa. So, the party will utilise his service to strengthen itself further and come to power with a majority,” he added.
Yediyurappa announcing his son as candidate from Shikaripura is being seen as an attempt by the veteran leader to compel the party to give a ticket to Vijayendra for the assembly polls.
A section within the party feels that it may be an attempt by Yediyurappa to secure the political future of Vijayendra, after the recent ‘setback’ when he failed to get an MLC ticket for his son.
Ignoring the recommendation of the state unit to field Vijayendra for the June 3 biennial elections to seven seats of Karnataka Legislative Council, the party central leadership had denied him the ticket.
The move was seen by some in political quarters as a setback to Yediyurappa, as the senior leader wanted to see to it that Vijayendra becomes MLC and subsequently is inducted into the Bommai-led cabinet.
Yediyurappa’s attempt to secure Vijayendra’s political future by unilaterally announcing him as the candidate from Shikaripura, may come in the way of the party’s stand against dynastic politics, as his elder son B Y Raghavendra is already a Member of Parliament from Shivamogga.
Vijayendra was appointed as the party Vice President in July 2020. Before that, he was appointed as BJP youth wing general secretary. Soon after, he was denied a party ticket to contest from Varuna constituency in Mysuru, ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls.
His stakes increased in the party as he was credited by many to have played a key role in BJP’s first ever victory in K R Pet and Sira Assembly segments in the by-polls held in 2019 and 2020, respectively.