BENGALURU: Electioneering has once again pitchforked former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and son BY Vijayendra, BJP state vice-president, into the limelight, and highlighted their role as party lodestars.
The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman, who voluntarily sought support of the JDS in the December 10 Council polls in places where the regional party has not fielded its candidates, has sent a message that he can reach out to leaders across the political spectrum. In response, though, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy clarified that while he had spoken well about Yediyurappa considering his seniority, it doesn’t mean the JDS will support the BJP.
Interestingly, BJP national general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh, who had travelled to Old Mysuru to strengthen the party in the region, had a spat with Kumaraswamy after he termed the JDS a “sinking boat”. Yediyurappa, meanwhile, has let it be known that after the Council elections, he will take up his pending solo state tour, and visit each district to organise the party.
Meanwhile, Vijayendra has asserted that he is not a “sanyasi” and will contest the 2023 assembly polls as he has been organising the party as its vice-president, indicating that he cannot be ruled out as Yediyurappa’s successor.
“Vijayendra has also been grooming a set of second-rung leaders as his loyalists, among whom are Mysuru MLC candidate Raghu Koutilya and Mandya’s KR Pet Manju,” said a BJP leader. Yediyurappa, who took the liberty of seeking JDS’ support, was also reportedly passive about defending Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his government over the bitcoin issue, raked up by the opposition Congress.
Except for stating that the guilty will be punished, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi knew about the scam, Yediyurappa did not volunteer to defend any party leaders. Yediyurappa also set off speculation when he called on former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, after the latter’s recent New Delhi visit. While this has given ammunition to talk in political circles, what transpired between the two leaders remains a mystery.