BENGALURU: The Bharatiya Janata Party will have to come up with something spectacular for an assured win in Hanagal and Sindagi, where the ground report is none too encouraging. While as a rule, bypolls almost always favour the ruling party, this time there is an underlying discomfort within the party, which is working doubly hard to pull off a win.
Former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, the star campaigner for the BJP, left for Chitradurga on Monday afternoon, and will halt in Shivamogga for the night. He is on a week-long campaign tour of the two constituencies. While his itinerary is not too clear, local leaders will decide on his day-to-day tour. He is to halt in Bagalkot on Tuesday night.
Yediyurappa will start his campaign in Sindagi, and the BJP is concerned about how effectively the veteran could be used in this constituency. He will then head to Hanagal. Former deputy CM Laxman Savadi is in charge in Sindagi, while Agriculture Minister BC Patil is in charge of Hanagal. Yediyurappa’s campaign will comprise mostly road shows and meetings, where big crowds are expected.
Though he is no longer the Chief Minister, the cadres at the ground level are still with him. Both the party leaders and rank and file will be watching him keenly, for any unspoken message he may attempt to send across. The tears that he shed when he celebrated two years in power are not likely to be forgotten anytime soon, say party insiders. It is also known that Yediyurappa is unhappy that the party has not accommodated son B Y Vijayendra in the ministry so far, but has not gone public about it.
“For over 40 years, Yediyurappa has been an ‘independent thinking’ politician, who has defied the party line and taken decisions independently, something Bommai is unable to do. Yediyurappa enjoyed a secular image, something not many other BJP politicians can boast of. He has a pro-farmer image, which is a plus,’’ said political analyst BS Murthy. “Surprisingly, it is this independent thinking politician whose words and actions will matter more than all BJP politicians put together.”