BENGALURU: The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) has yet again made a surprise pick for the upcoming Rajya Sabha bypolls in Karnataka, scheduled to be held on December 1. 68-year-old K Narayan, who owns a printing press in Bengaluru and has an RSS background, is the party candidate for the seat that fell vacant after BJP member Ashok Gasti succumbed to Covid-19 in September.
Narayan is the publisher of ‘Sambhashana Sandesha’, the only monthly Sanskrit magazine in the country, since 1994. The magazine has subscribers all over the world and around 15,000 copies are printed without any advertisements.
BJP is the only party that recognises our work: Narayan
K NARAYAN is also the editor of ‘Tuluvere Kedige’, a Tulu language magazine. Narayan has also been associated with various social and cultural activities involving the weavers’ community, according to a BJP leader. Speaking to TNIE, Narayan said his nomination was completely unexpected. “I was at home when party state president Nalin Kumar Kateel called me and asked me to keep my voter ID card ready. Later, my name was announced,” he said.
“My last visit to the BJP office was sometime in 2019, to speak to party leaders on behalf of my community. The BJP is the only party that recognises our work. Influence, money or popularity do not matter, service is only what count s, ” he reasoned. In June this year, Ashok Gasti, who belonged to the Savita Samaj (barber community) and Eranna Karadi were elected to the Rajya Sabha from BJP. Both were surprise choices then too.
Some BJP leaders in the state were shocked by Narayan’s selection as not many in the party were aware of his activities. Narayan, who belongs to the Devanga (weavers) community from coastal Karnataka, is said to be a close associate of late H N Ananth Kumar. A Bachelor of Arts graduate, Narayan used to print posters and other publicity material for RSS and ABVP events. Wednesday is the last date for filing of nomination for the bypoll and Narayan’s election is almost certain, given BJP’s numbers in the Assembly.