Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, KS Eshwarappa on Sunday confirmed that the saffron outfit had sent the name of Karnataka BJP’s vice-president and former chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra as one of the probables for the upcoming elections to the legislative council.
“We have sent Vijayendra’s name. We will accept whatever decision the central leaders take,” Eshwarappa said.
The elections are scheduled to be held on June 3.
The development comes at a time when the speculations have been rife on Vijayendra’s imminent entry into active politics, paving the way for his inclusion into the Basavaraj Bommai-led state cabinet. However, there has been growing opposition to Vijayendra’s nomination from the likes of Basanagouda Patil (Yatnal), the BJP legislator from Bijapur city (Vijayapura) who has demanded that the party follow the ‘one family, one ticket’ policy.
Vijayendra is the younger son of Yediyurappa, who was forced to step down last July for corruption allegations against his own family.
Meanwhile, people aware of the developments said that Yediyurappa has been lobbying hard to placate Vijayendra in the cabinet and pave the way for him to contest next year’s assembly elections.
The BJP hopes to return to power next year on its own and Yediyurappa is the key to secure the support from the Lingayat community who have so far backed the leader in at least three elections.
“It has come to my notice that my name has been recommended during the BJP core committee meeting, which was held on Saturday, as one of the candidates for the four MLC seats the party is going to win,” Vijayendra was reported by PTI as saying.
“However, it’s the central parliamentary board of the party, which will take a final call. So it’s premature (to celebrate). Let’s wait because the final decision has to come from Delhi. Probably, it may take two to three days,” he added.The BJP leader was reacting to the news that his name is among the 20 names recommended by the core committee to contest the Rajya Sabha and legislative council elections next month.
Eshwarappa said that several names of probables have been sent to the high command for its consideration as MLC and Rajya Sabha candidates.
Biennial elections to four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka — two each in graduates and teachers constituencies of the state legislative council will be held on June 10 and 13 respectively.
Also, biennial elections to the Karnataka Legislative Council for seven seats will be held on June 3. Vijayendra expressed gratitude to chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel, senior leaders of the party and core committee members for recommending his name.
Replying to a query on his work in the old Mysuru region, which led to party’s victory for the first time in Krishnarajapet in Mandya district Assembly by-poll, the place Yediyurappa’s family hails from, Vijayendra said he was not the only one in the party to have worked there.
“But it is matter of joy that my name has been recommended to Delhi in recognition of my work. I also feel proud of it,” the BJP leader said.
He also underlined that he was working to materialise the desire of the party central leaders to get maximum seats from the old Mysuru region in the Assembly elections.
Stating that he did not work to get a position in the party, Vijayendra said he will successfully shoulder the responsibility given to his by the BJP central and state leaders.
If elected, Vijayendra will be the third from Lingayat strongman Yediyurappa’s family to get into electoral politics on the BJP ticket. Yediyurappa himself is an MLA from Shikaripura and his elder son B Y Raghavendra an MP from Shivamogga. According to the BJP insiders, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, senior leader K C Ramamurthy and film producer Lahari Velu’s names have been recommended for the Rajya Sabha election.
Sitharaman and Ramamurthy’s term as Rajya Sabha members is getting over next month and the leaders are eyeing for another term from Karnataka in Rajya Sabha.Nirmal Kumar Surana, outgoing MLC Lahar Singh Siroya and Lahari Velu are also said to be in the race for the Rajya Sabha, party sources said.
While the party is sure to win at least two seats, the saffron party is exploring possibility to have a tie-up with the JD(S) to bag the third seat, the sources said. BJP state vice-president M Rajendra, state general secretary Mahesh Tenginkai, former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi, BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha president Chalavadi Narayanaswamy, former MLCs M B Bhanuprakash and Siddaraju and BJP Mahila Morcha president Geetha Vivekananda are also among the probable MLC candidates, party sources said.
BJP has already announced the candidates for three — two sitting MLCs, Arun Shahpur (North West Teachers’ constituency) and Hanumant Rudrappa Nirani (North West Graduates’ constituency), and former MLC M V Ravishankar (South Graduates’ Constituency). Basavaraj Horatti, who is currently the Legislative Council Chairman and was elected on a JD(S) ticket last time, is likely to be BJP’s candidate from West Teachers’ constituency.The ruling BJP currently has 37 members in the upper house, where it is just one short of a simple majority. The halfway mark in the 75-member legislative council is 38. While Congress’ strength is 26, JD(S) has 10 members. There is also one independent member other than the chairman.
Seven seats of the council will go to the polls on June 3, which gives the BJP a chance to finally secure a majority in the upper house.
With PTI inputs