MYSURU: “Don’t vote for Lotus, opt for NOTA.” This seems to be the message of BJP workers to the voters in Mysuru and Chamarajnagar districts. They apparently want to teach the party a lesson for denying ticket to BY Vijayendra, son of state party chief BS Yeddyurappa.
In what has come as an embarrassment for the party, posters urging people to exercise None of the Above (NOTA) option are making rounds on WhatsApp and Facebook. One poster shows an inverted ‘Lotus’ and says the workers have every right to elect their own representative.
Earlier this week, Vijayendra’s loyalists went berserk when Yeddyurappa announced in Nanjangud that his son won’t contest from Varuna. The announcement led to disappointment and anger as party workers had been looking forward to Vijayendra taking on CM Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra in Varuna. The party perhaps thought it was a one-off incident. But now with the anger spiralling, the leadership is worried. And on Thursday morning, Gaviyappa (36), a Vijayendra supporter, committed suicide in Sargur village in Varuna constituency.
When told about the developments, Yeddyurappa, who was in Shivamogga, appealed to party workers to work unitedly and ensure the victory of the party candidate in Varuna.
Although Vijayendra has maintained that he was not disappointed and would work for the party in Mysuru and Chamarajnagar districts, his supporters are not convinced. The party fielded T Basavaraju from Varuna, and in an apparent placatory move Vijayendra was appointed as youth wing general secretary.
A BJP worker in Varuna said they are hoping that there will be re-election if NOTA votes are more than the votes polled by the winners. Party insiders say unknown hands are working behind the scene to push the NOTA campaign.
Holding Union Minister H N Ananth Kumar and RSS leader Santhosh responsible for Vijayendra being denied the ticket, the posters blame the two for “crushing their hopes.” “Are you trying to ensure Siddaramaiah’s victory or are you afraid that Vijayendra may emerge as a formidable leader,” they ask in messages.
A few leaders want to urge Yeddyurappa to send Vijayendra to campaign in Mysuru and put an end to the NOTA push that will affect the party prospects.