My party and father strongly believe in politics of inclusion, says Yediyurappa’s son Vijayendra

Will follow my father’s path on being in good terms with Muslims and Christians and taking everybody along, says the vice-president of Karnataka BJP

Updated - April 21, 2023 02:53 am IST

Published - April 21, 2023 02:44 am IST - Shikaripur (Shivamogga)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah meets Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice President B.Y. Vijayendra, at the latter’s residence, in Bengaluru on March 24.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah meets Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice President B.Y. Vijayendra, at the latter’s residence, in Bengaluru on March 24. | Photo Credit: ANI

For B.Y. Vijayendra, this is his first election as a candidate. However, being the son of former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and State vice-president of the BJP, election campaigns are not new to him. He took on the task of managing crucial byelections in K.R. Pet and Sira Assembly constituencies in 2020 and succeeded in ensuring victory.

The 47-year-old Vijayendra is contesting for the State Assembly from Shikaripur, a constituency his father has represented eight times since 1983. When he goes for campaigning, a section of workers raise slogans referring to him as “future Chief Minister.”

Here are excerpts from an interview with The Hindu:

Why did you choose Shikaripur constituency, which is your father’s long-held seat and therefore ‘safe’?

It was not my choice. Of course, my father declared my name for the constituency. But it was the choice of my senior leaders and workers in the party in Shikaripur. My father also felt that since the people of our constituency have blessed us for the last 40 years, it is our duty to serve them.

If you were given a choice between Varuna, where former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is contesting, and Shikaripur, which one would you have chosen?

The question does not arise now. Honestly, I always wanted to fight from the Old Mysore region. It is not about me winning a seat there. But my contest in that region would have added a few more seats to the party. That was the feeling of some MLAs and senior leaders. But I am happy today. 

There are many Muslim women in your processions. But there are some leaders in BJP who openly say they do not want votes of Muslims. How do you respond?

My view is not different from that of the party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly says, “Sabka Sath, Sabka vishwas, sabka prayaas.” My father also believes in it. In 2008, ahead of the Assembly election, he announced that a person from the minority community would be a Minister. He appointed Mumtaz Ali Khan as Minister. He treats them as our brothers. He has sanctioned funds for mosques. My father has always been on good terms with Muslims and Christians. My resolution is to tread the path of my father, both in terms of development and taking everybody along with me. Both my party and my father strongly believe in inclusive politics. Yes, it is true that some people make comments. But Mr. Modi’s dream is to bring everybody together. Everybody includes minorities. 

There is an allegation that your intervention in the administration when your father was Chief Minister put him in trouble. How do you react?

Allegations are quite natural. And making allegations against the son of a Chief Minister or a Minister is quite easy.... People make allegations for various reasons. When my father was the Chief Minister, I worked as a bridge between the party and the government. And I am happy that I succeeded to a great extent.

In Shikaripur people raise slogans calling you ‘future Chief Minister.’ How do you see it?

Not only in Shikaripur, in other areas also, people raise that slogan. But, I don’t get carried away by such things. 

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