Party, not Yediyurappa, will decide on seat for ex-Karnataka CM’s son: BJP’s CT Ravi
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary CT Ravi has raised objections to former Karnataka chief minister and veteran BJP leader BS Yediyurappa’s announcement that his son BY Vijayendra would contest from Shikaripura in the coming assembly elections in the state, indicating that all is not well within the party in power in the state.
Objecting to Yediyurappa seemingly reserving his seat for his son, Ravi said that decisions on candidates cannot be made in their kitchen or home.
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Talking to reporters in Vijayapura, Ravi said that the decision will be made by the party’s Parliamentary Board.
Later, specifically addressing the candidature of Vijayendra he said that the winnability factor will decide who gets the ticket. “You have raised a question about Vijayendra. The decision on whether he should get a ticket or not will be taken by the parliamentary board (of the BJP). It will not happen in the kitchen. Who gets the ticket or not will be decided based on the winnability factor and it will be based on a survey. And this survey will not take place in the family,” said Ravi.
The issue brings to the fore one of the BJP’s biggest challenges in the state — Yediyurappa is its tallest leader in Karnataka, and it desperately needs him to win, but many in the local unit of the party, and even some in the central leadership, are not completely comfortable with him.
As early as July 22 last year, while signalling his retirement from electoral politics, Yediyurappa declared that his youngest son B Y Vijayendra would replace him as the candidate in his Shikaripura constituency in the 2023 state assembly polls. On February 24, soon after announcing his retirement from politics, Yediyurappa reiterated this decision.
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Responding to CT Ravi’s statement KPCC president DK Shivakumar said that the statements are part of the conspiracy within the BJP to corner Yediyurappa. “This is an internal matter of the BJP. This has been discussed in the BJP for a long time. There was a conspiracy in the BJP to corner Yediyurappa and they succeeded. The Congress has no role in this,” he said.
His reference is to Yediyurappa’s decision to step down as chief minister in July 2021; many analysts believe he was forced to resign.
The BJP has been sending out mixed signals about the former chief minister, analysts say.
The party originally signalled that Yediyurappa would be the face of the party’s campaign, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Have faith in Yediyurappa and Modi,” Union home minister Amit Shah said during his visit to the state earlier this month. Defence minister Rajnath Singh asked party leaders and workers to fulfil Yediyurappa’s dream of achieving a clear majority for the BJP in the polls. The comments fuelled speculation that Yediyurappa would be made the chief of the Election Campaign Committee (ECC). But the central leadership on Friday announced Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai as the chairman of the committee and Yediyurappa was made a member under him.
A senior BJP leader who asked not to be identified pointed out that there was opposition to Yediyurappa’s appointment as the ECC chief since it would give more power to Vijayendra, who is considered the BJP veteran’s successor. “If Yediyurappa was made the chief, Vijayendra would be running the show. This was true even when Yediyurappa was the chief minister. Several leaders opposed Vijayendra’s control of the administration.” Yediyurappa’s elder son, B Y Raghavendra is a member of Parliament.