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Wednesday, April 17 2024
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Bengaluru: Lingayat votes, BJP top brass treads carefully on BSY

Yediyurappa
Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: At a time when the Congress is striking a balance between its top leaders D.K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, the BJP high command is favouring former chief minister and the party’s Central Parliamentary Committee member B.S. Yediyurappa to keep the Lingayat vote bank intact in State.

Sources in the party said that the high command, which tamed Yediyurappa and asked him to step down from the post of CM and snubbed him till just before the elections, has now decided to tread cautiously with him.

Analysts who have watched Yediyurappa closely talk about how he challenged the BJP’s revered leader L.K. Advani in 2011 after being asked to resign following the Lokayukta report against him on alleged charges of illegal mining. He did not accept the diktat of the BJP high command on the appointment of the new CM.

He installed the CM of his choice, D.V. Sadananda Gowda. Later, in July 2012, he got Sadananada Gowda removed from the office and anointed Jagadish Shettar to the CM’s post, much to the chagrin of the BJP high command and his enemies.

On December 10, 2012 Yediyurappa launched the KJP party and contested the elections. The party managed to get close to 10 per cent of the votes and decimated the ruling BJP in the 2013 assembly elections paving the way for the Congress to obtain a simple majority.

Yediyurappa’s party had won 6 of the 203 seats it contested, and restricted the BJP to a mere 40 seats. The BJP had won 110 seats in the 2008 assembly elections under the leadership of Yediyurappa.

During the height of the corona pandemic, Yediyurappa had warned of action against those who tried to target Muslims in the backdrop of the Tablighi Jamaat controversy. The statement had angered the Sangh Parivar and Hindu activists.

During the state executive committee meeting Yediyurappa had stated that the elections can’t be won only in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The competition is tough in Karnataka and he called on the party workers to reach out to the people.

However, Yediyurappa kept quiet when he was snubbed by the state as well as the central leadership. He was not to be seen while welcoming PM Modi when he arrived in Karnataka. When his detractors started saying that the BJP had moved on from Yediyurappa, the central leadership made him a member of the BJP Central Parliamentary Committee. As the state inched closer to the election, the high command brought him into the limelight.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh went to the extent of saying publicly that the next government will take shape as per the wishes of Yediyurappa. PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were seen with Yediyurappa. Party sources said that as Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has failed to emerge as a mass leader, the party had to go back to Yediyurappa.

The party knows the impulsive nature of the 80-year-old Yediyurappa, who is presently concerned about shaping the political career of his son B.Y. Vijayendra. The party had given the ticket to Vijayendra as per his wishes to contest from Shikaripura constituency. BJP insiders say that as of now all is well between Yediyurappa and the party.

By M.K. Ashoka

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