Karnataka election 2018: Unfazed by protests, BJP dumps Vijayendra

Apr 27, 2018

BENGALURU: The BJP on Tuesday finally chose low-profile T Basavaraju to take on chief minister Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra in Varuna constituency. It seemed unfazed by protests from partymen seeking a ticket for BY Vijayendra, younger son of the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa.
Basavaraju from T Narasipura filed his nomination papers even as partymen continued their protests.

The appointment of Vijayendra as the general secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha, however, failed to soothe frayed tempers. The police resorted to a mild lathi charge after some workers pelted stones at the City BJP office at Ittigegudu. Earlier, some of his supporters exerted pressure on the party’s emissaries — Prakash Javadekar and Muralidhar Rao — who rushed to Mysuru for a firefighting mission.

The two leaders held a closed door meeting with Yeddyurappa in the morning when he argued that Vijayendra’s candidature could help boost the party’s prospects in the Old Mysuru region but they were not convinced. Later, Javadekar told reporters that Vijaendra’s leadership skills will be utilized by the party.

Soon after BJP announced that it wouldn’t field Vijayendra from Varuna, JD(S) party workers from Varuna rushed to G T Devegowda’s house in Vijayanagar, demanding that his son G D Harish Gowda be fielded there, replacing M S Abhishek, a Lingayat. JD(S) leaders in Mysuru went into a huddle to discuss the fallout and later decided against it.

Later in the evening, Vijayendra said he is not upset with the party’s decision to not field him from Varuna. He said he will work for the official candidate from the segment and ensure his victory.

Addressing a press meet, Vijayendra said as a party worker he toured the Varuna constituency for past 25 days.

“I visited more than 80 villages and heard the problems of the people as a party worker and not as a candidate. It was the people and party workers who pressured me to contest from the segment. As I travelled the constituency, I felt there were good chances of me winning. Hoping the party high command would accept the public demand, I decided to file my nominations on Monday which was a good day,” he said.

“But the party decided to field Basavaraju who is a party worker from the constituency. I accept the party high command’s decision as there were more than 25 aspirants who have been serving the party for years to contest from Varuna segment. I came to Varuna just 25 days ago. So, I accept the decision taken by the party,” he said.

On party workers protests, Vijayendra said there will be disappointment for a few days. On whether his own party leaders have conspired to prevent him from being the candidate, Vijayendra said such reports are baseless.