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03 Jun 2023, 23:55 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Yediyurappa's son denied ticket for MLC polls

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18:44 HRS IST

(Eds: (Combining related stories))

Bengaluru, May 24 (PTI)
In what is being seen in some political quarters as a setback to former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, the BJP central leadership on Tuesday denied MLC tickets to his son B Y Vijayendra and a loyalist.

Ignoring the recommendation of the state unit to field Vijayendra for the June 3 biennial election to seven seats of Karnataka Legislative Council, the party central leadership on Tuesday announced names four candidates, hours before the deadline for filing of nominations ended today.

The candidates announced by the BJP central leadership are: Former Deputy Chief Minister and party vice-president Laxman Savadi, party's state secretaries Hemalatha Nayak and and S Keshavaprasad, and President of SC Morcha Chalavadi Narayanaswamy.

The party also fielded JD(S) veteran Basavaraj Horatti, who recently resigned as the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council and MLC, and joined the party, as the candidate for upcoming MLC polls from West Teachers' constituency, for which poll is scheduled on June 13.

Yediyurappa's loyalist Mohan Limbikai was a key aspirant of BJP ticket to the seat, but was overlooked.

The state BJP core committee had earlier recommended Vijayendra's name to the central leadership, as one of the probable candidates.

With party deciding against fielding him as candidate, Vijayendra issued an appeal and said power and position itself are not the ultimate objectives in politics.

Asking his supporters and well-wishers to abide by the party's decision, he also appealed against making any unnecessary comments on social media and elsewhere, following this decision, stating that it will not only damage the reputation of the party but also hurt the sentiments of Yediyurappa and himself.

He also recalled that his father has dedicated his life to building and strengthening the party in Karnataka from the grassroots.

Yediyurappa also tweeted congratulating the candidates announced by the central leadership.

According to party sources, the leadership decided against giving ticket to Vijayendra, as it wants to field him as a candidate during the 2023 Assembly elections, and is likely to give him a greater role in the party ahead of the polls, as a placatory move.

Earlier too there were reports that Vijayendra might be fielded to contest the 2023 Assembly polls from one of the seats in the old Mysuru (south Karnataka) region, where the party is considered weak. He too had recently stated that he is interested in working in the region, if the party decides.

"We (state core committee) had recommended Vijayendra's name unanimously; as he has various opportunities, the high command might have taken this decision after considering various factors. He is now the state Vice President and has to play many roles," BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel told reporters here.

Averring that four names have been announced by the central leadership from the list of 20 people recommended by the state core committee, he said, "all the four of them are members of my team."

Rejecting talks that delay in announcement of candidates was due to some confusion in the party also regarding Vijayendra's candidature, Kateel said national leaders had to meet and finalise.

There were some reports that Yediyurappa had desired to make his son an MLC and then insist on making him Minister in the Basavaraj Bommai cabinet.

There have been such demands from his supporters after Yediyurappa stepped down as Chief Minister in July last year.

The central leadership is also said to have decided against Vijayendra's candidature, as it will weaken the BJP's stand against dynasty politics, ahead of 2023 assembly polls, as Yediyurappa is currently a MLA from Shikaripura assembly seat, while his elder son B Y Ragahavendra is Shivamogga MP.

Vijayendra was appointed as the party Vice President in July, 2020. Before that he was appointed as BJP youth wing general secretary, soon after he was denied a party ticket to contest from Varuna constituency in Mysuru, ahead of the May 2018 assembly polls.

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

With today being the last day to file nominations for June 3 polls to seven seats to be elected by MLAs, all the four BJP candidates, also JD(S)' T A Saravana, and Congress' M Nagaraju Yadav and K Abdul Jabbar filed their nominations.

With all the three major political parties fielding candidates only to the number of seats they can win, it is most likely to be unanimous election, if there are no independents in the fray, sources said.

The election is necessitated as the term of office of seven members expires on June 14.

The seats will be falling vacant due to the retirement of MLCs -- Laxman Savadi and Lahar Singh Siroya of BJP; Ramappa Timmapur, Allum Veerabhadrappa, and Veena Achaiah S of Congress; and H M Ramesha Gowda and Narayana Swamy K V of JD(S).

According to official sources, in this election, each MLC candidate will require a minimum of 29 votes to win, and on the basis of minimum votes required and tallying it with the strength of each party in the Legislative Assembly, the BJP is expected to win four seats, Congress two, and JD(S) one.

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