With Yediyurappa’s son Vijayendra on top, K’taka BJP to take on a stronger Cong
Bengaluru: Following the humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections in Karnataka, the BJP high command has now made its first move by appointing BJP MLA B.Y. Vijayendra as the state unit President.
Party workers were upbeat about the development. But, it is to be seen whether Vijayendra will be able to challenge the ruling Congress party, which is growing stronger day after day in the state.
After the drubbing, the high command had not responded to the several appeals of the state leadership to appoint a state president and Leader of the Opposition. Even as the ruling Congress party leaders took potshots and chided the BJP over the issue, the high command took five months after the elections to make a decision.
Party sources claimed that Vijayendra, son of former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, will ensure the consolidation of Lingayat vote bank in the state which served as the core strength for the saffron party. After Yediyurappa was asked to step down and former CM Jagadish Shettar, DyCM Laxman Savadi switched over to the Congress party following the denial of tickets to them by BJP, Congress was able to break the Lingayat vote bank.
B. Samiulla, a political analyst talking to IANS explained that the appointment of Vijayendra as the President of BJP in Karnataka will keep the Lingayat vote bank intact for the BJP. The Lingayat vote bank had fractured in the Assembly elections and BJP’s new move may help to consolidate the same again.
“Vijayendra is popular among the youngsters. The party could not have taken a chance with former minister K.S. Eshwarappa, BJP MLAs Arvind Bellad, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, as Hindutva plant failed in Karnataka,” he explained.
“The high command seems to have chosen the middle path and backtracked on pursuing aggressive Hindutva in the state. The time will decide whether Vijayendra would be able to face leaders like Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and DyCM D.K. Shivakumar, who are sworn opponents of Hindutva ideology and raise their voice against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, “Samiulla stated.
“The other leaders in state BJP, former CM Basavaraj Bommai, former DyCMs — R. Ashoka and Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan — should cooperate with him. Vijayendra has to coordinate with former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy. The high command is also working out on the Lingayat and Vokkaliga combinations,” Samiulla explained.
Senior political analyst Channabasappa Rudrappa told IANS that it is yet to be known that Vijayendra will be able to create magic like his father Yediyurappa. It is alleged that Vijayendra acted like the shadow CM and he is responsible for bringing disrepute to his father.
“BJP is turning to young guns. Like how the BJP had brought former CM Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, Annamalai in Tamil Nadu and Kishan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh to the forefront, they have chosen Vijayendra in Karnataka,” he stated.
The decision also makes it clear that the central leadership has started giving prominence to Yediyurappa against the National General Secretary B.L. Santhosh. Vijayendra had ensured victory of BJP candidates in all regions of the state in bypolls, Rudrappa explained.
“Vijayendra has abundant challenges. He should win over the confidence of senior party leaders who are vocal on collective leadership. He should ensure Lingayat, Dalit, Banjara, Valmiki Nayaka vote banks back to the BJP,” he said.