Karnataka: BS Yediyurappa's elevation will force Congress to rework its 2023 game plan

This poses a greater challenge to Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, who will have to come up with a more aggressive strategy to woo Lingayats.

Published: 23rd August 2022 02:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2022 02:56 AM   |  A+A-

Former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa (Photo | PTI)

Former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MYSURU: The elevation of Lingayat strongman B S Yediyurappa as a member of the Parliamentary Board and Election Committee, considered to be BJP’s top decision-making body, has rejuvenated the state unit and delivered a shocker to the Congress, which was holding up Yediyurappa as a victim who had been dumped and humiliated.

The BJP’s master took Yediyurappa’s rivals by surprise, both in the BJP and opposition, who had presumed that he had been nudged into the sunset of his career, especially after he was stopped from taking up state tours, his son B Y Vijayendra was not made a Legislative Council member, or given a berth in the Bommai ministry.

The Congress, while attacking low-profile Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, raised corruption and law and order issues and also made it a point to speak about the treatment meted out to Yediyurappa. The grand old party, buoyed by the success of Siddaramaiah’s birthday bash ‘Siddaramovasata’ and Freedom March on August 15, started an outreach to reconnect with the Lingayat community.

State leaders had also prevailed on former AICC president Rahul Gandhi to visit Murugha Mutt in Chitradurga and take ‘linga deeksha’. Former CM Siddaramaiah has made it a point to visit prominent mutts and seek blessings, to send out a message that the Congress wants to keep Veerashaiva-Lingayats in good humour.

The Congress high command, having made Lingayat leader M B Patil head of the Congress Publicity Committee, looked to cash in on the raw deal given to Yediyurappa, and win over the community. But his new appointment has spoiled the Congress party, as he will now continue to have a hold on Lingayat mutts and the community. The party will also rally behind Yediyurappa, as he will have the final say in distribution of tickets, and will campaign actively.

This poses a greater challenge to Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, who will have to come up with a more aggressive strategy to woo Lingayats. The Congress will have to soften its attack on Yediyurappa, so that the Lingayat community is not antagonised, and go to the people with government failure, price rise, unemployment, GST, and the plight of farmers to win over the electorate.    

Instead of giving a lion’s share of tickets to their factions, the two leaders should be more accommodative of leaders from North Karnataka and Lingayats, and rally behind influential mutts.Political commentator Prof Muzaffar Assadi said Yediyurappa’s will not make much difference, as the Lingayat community knows that he will not be made chief minister. Ahinda voters are realigning, and the anti-incumbency factor will affect a good percentage of Lingayat and Vokkaliga votes.


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