Litmus test for Yediyurappa in K’taka LS polls after gaining upper hand in ticket distribution

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Litmus test for Yediyurappa in K’taka LS polls after gaining upper hand in ticket distribution
Bengaluru:  The 81-year-old BJP warhorse, former Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa is facing a litmus test in terms of winning the maximum seats for the party after gaining an upper hand over his rivals in ticket distribution.

Sources say that the Lok Sabha results are important to stabilise the political career of his son, BJP state President, BY Vijayendra.

It is evident from the list that, though the BJP high command had made choices, the top leadership had mostly accommodated all candidates from BS Yediyurappa’s camp.

The BJP high command has announced tickets to 24 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka and declared its ambitious plan to win all the parliamentary constituencies with its alliance partner JD(S).

The JD(S) has been given three seats and the BJP is yet to announce the candidate for the Chitradurga seat.

Sources close to Yediyurappa say that most of the political heavyweights who missed getting a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections this time are his opponents who had lobbied against him, resulting in the veteran leader’s unceremonious exit from the CM’s post in 2021.

Sources added that former BJP National General Secretary, CT Ravi, who raised his voice against Yediyurappa lost the Assembly election in 2023 to his right-hand man who went on to become the Congress candidate.

CT Ravi wanted to contest from the Udupi-Chikkamagalur Parliamentary seat; however, the ticket was allotted to Opposition leader in the Council, Kota Srinivas Poojary.

The Udupi-Chikkamagalur seat was earlier represented by Yediyurappa’s close confidante Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje.

Sources said that Yediyurappa not only managed to see to it that the ticket was not given to CT Ravi, but he also ensured a ticket to Shobha Karandlaje from the Bengaluru North Constituency.

This development has angered sitting MP from Bengaluru North, former CM, DV Sadananda Gowda.

DV Sadananda Gowda was elevated to the position of CM with the support of Yediyurappa in 2011, but after becoming the CM, Gowda had angered Yediyurappa by joining hands with his political opponents.

Similarly, Yediyurappa’s friend-turned-foe former minister, KS Eshwarappa, made all attempts but failed to secure a ticket for his son KE Kanthesh from the Haveri Lok Sabha seat.

Eshwarappa had organised the Rayanna Brigade against Yediyurappa when he was the CM. The party chose to issue a ticket from Haveri to former CM, Basavaraj Bommai, who clearly stated that he is not interested in national politics.

Kanthesh missed the Lok Sabha ticket, prompting his father Eshwarappa to contest as an Independent candidate from Shivamogga.

Now, Eshwarappa has vowed to defeat BJP candidate BY Raghavendra, son of Yediyurappa, from Shivamogga.

Former state President, Nalin Kumar Kateel, another senior leader who joined hands with the opponents of Yediyurappa was also denied a ticket and the party opted for newbie Captain Brijesh Chowta instead.

Union Minister Bhagwanth Khuba (Bidar), Raja Amareshwara Naik (Raichur), Umesh Jadhav (Kalaburagi), B Sriramulu (Bellary), Ramesh Jigajinagi (Vijayapura), Gayathri Siddeshwar (Davanagere) are the other candidates issued tickets on the recommendation of Yediyurappa, sources said. Most of these candidates faced internal resistance.

Eshwarappa has stated that Vijayendra will step down from his position once the results of Lok Sabha election are announced.

However, sources close to Yediyurappa state that they are confident of winning the maximum number of seats with the PM Modi wave in the state.

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