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BJP in a Fix As Yediyurappa Gives Up Shikaripura Constituency for Son Vijayendra

This announcement is seen by many as an indication of Yediyurappa's retirement from politics.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

In what is seen by many as his retirement from electoral politics, former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yediyurappa on Friday, 22 July, said that he would be giving up his Assembly constituency at Shimoga's Shikaripura for his son BY Vijayendra during the 2023 Assembly elections.

Speaking at an event in Shikaripura taluk, the 79-year-old leader also sought people's support for his son during the next state elections.

"I'm not contesting, Vijayendra will be contesting from Shikaripura. I pray to the people of Shikaripura with folded hands to make him victorious with a margin bigger than mine," Yediyurappa said.
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Answering queries of reporters about the possibility of Vijayendra contesting from Old Mysuru region, as demanded by his followers, Yediyurappa said, "there is lot of pressure for him to contest from there, but as I'm vacating the seat and will not be contesting, so Vijayendra will be contesting from Shikaripura."

'There Is No Word Called Retirement in Father's Dictionary': Vijayendra

Talking to journalists, Vijayendra said he would accept his father's offer. He however, dismissed speculations about his father retiring from politics. "There is no word called retirement in my father's dictionary. He will travel and strengthen the party," he said.

In July 2020, Vijayendra was appointed as BJP's Karnataka vice president. Prior to that he was given the post of party's youth wing general secretary. This after he was denied a ticket to contest from Mysuru's Varuna constituency ahead of Assembly elections in May 2018.

His stakes increased in the party as he was credited by many to have played a key role in BJP's first ever victory in K R Pet and Sira Assembly segments during the bypolls held in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Since 1983, Yediyurappa has won eight state elections from Shikaripura constituency. He could not win the seat only once in 1999, when Congress captured it. In 2014, he was a Lok Sabha MP from Shimoga. In the same year, his other son Raghavendra had won Assembly bypolls from Shikaripura on a BJP ticket.

The Lingayat, BJP strongman had resigned as the chief minister of the state last year, on 26 July, after completing two years in office. Basavaraj Bommai took over as the state CM after his resignation.

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BSY Played On His Strengths, But Party Must Tackle Accusations of 'Dynasty Politics': Sources

While the Karnataka Congress is in a state of disarray due to multiple leaders staking claim to chief minister's chair in the upcoming 2023 elections, the recent announcement by BS Yediyurappa that Vijayendra will be successor has put the ruling BJP in a corner.

Yediyurappa's decision to field his son from his constituency is yet to be officially accepted by the BJP.

Meanwhile, a few leaders in the BJP expressed their concerns over Yediyurappa's decision.

"BS Yediyurappa's eldest son is a Member of Lok Sabha. Now, the former CM wants his younger son to take over Shikaripura. If this is not dynasty politics, then I don't what is," remarked AH Vishwanath, an MLC from BJP.

Speaking to The Quint, a senior leader of BJP Karnataka, requesting anonymity said, "I was very sure about the fact that Vijayendra will fight next elections from Shikaripura. Yediyurappa is already around 80, and he wouldn't have contested another election. He is a master craftsman as far as state politics is concerned. Can anyone win without BSY's support in Shikaripura? He has forced the party high command to agree with him."

"BS Yediyurappa resigned from the chief minister's position on 26 July last year. He did so because he was pressurised from the central leadership. However, he wants to assure that his son's destiny is safe and he has been playing his card really well," added the BJP leader close to BS Yediyurappa.

In 2012, when BS Yediyurappa moved away from BJP and formed a separate entity called the Karnataka Janata Paksha, it cost the BJP. The party won only 40 seats in the 2013 assembly elections.

"A similar situation is unlikely to happen given Yediyurappa's age. He knows his weakness. But the BJP cannot dispense him off. That is his strength and he is playing on it", said a national leader of the BJP to The Quint.

In response to a question on whether the BJP was on the back-foot with regard to accusations of dynasty politics, the source said, "We have been talking about Vamshvaad (dynasty politics). When we talk about family run politics, don't you think this will be a biggest set back in Karnataka? The party will have to carefully handle this situation."

"Had he (BS Yediyurappa) decided to contest elections from Shikaripura, then he would have been forced to lobby with the central leadership to get his younger son a ticket from a different seat. The party would not have agreed to this as his elder son is already a Member of Parliament from Shivamogga. Keeping in mind all scenarios, BS Yediyurappa has given up his seat to Vijayendra," the source added.

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Topics:  KARNATAKA   BS Yediyurappa 

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