A file picture of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa with his sons B Y Raghavendra (left) and  B Y Vijayendra (Photo | EPS)
A file picture of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa with his sons B Y Raghavendra (left) and B Y Vijayendra (Photo | EPS)

BJP dilutes dynasty claim with Karnataka pick

The relatively young leader will have to tread diplomatically, especially with those senior leaders who are aligned with B L Santhosh, BJP’s organisational general secretary.

The appointment of B Y Vijayendra as the BJP state president in Karnataka has once again established the importance of B S Yediyurappa, his father and Lingayat strongman. With the Lok Sabha elections coming up, the BJP has brought in the 48-year-old leader and is reorganizing its state unit. It was in some degree of disarray after the drubbing in the assembly elections as its leaders began crossing over to the Congress.

The move gives Yediyurappa due importance and shores up the party’s Lingayat base, which appeared to be eroding since the veteran was removed as chief minister in July 2021. This is the second such loss—it had suffered when Yediyurappa broke away in 2012 and formed the Karnataka Janata Party. The BJP, which had tried to look at communities beyond its principal Lingayat electorate, seems to have realised it cannot win an election without Yediyurappa’s involvement. Vijayendra’s anointment as inheritor only consolidates Yediyurappa’s hold over the community.

By appointing his son to the top post, the BJP is hoping to energise its cadre and rebuild. Yet, it may have to contend with heartburn among some senior leaders who will have to reconcile to the fact that in the event the party forms the next government, Vijayendra could get the top post. The relatively young leader will have to tread diplomatically, especially with those senior leaders who are aligned with B L Santhosh, BJP’s organizational general secretary.

But with his appointment, the BJP can no longer be too righteous in its criticism of dynastic politics and may have to tone down its attack on ‘parivarvaad’ and the entitlement of ‘princes’. While Vijayendra has earned his stripes by working on the ground and delivering the Sira and Krishnarajpete assembly seats to the BJP’s kitty, his lineage will not be forgotten.

Having joined forces with the Janata Dal (Secular)—another dynastic party—it hopes to take on a resurgent Congress in 2024. The party may have come to terms with the fact that family rule is in the country’s political DNA, at least until the voter becomes more discerning. It remains to be seen whether the father-son duo can deliver the 25/28 result of the 2019 general elections. The party, which is yet to win the state assembly with a full majority, can hope that the lotus will bloom again without having to orchestrate an Operation Lotus.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com