Yeddyurappa to share stage with PM at one rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with B.S. Yeddyurappa at a recent election campaign in Bangaluru.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa is scheduled to share the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi only at one rally, during the latter’s whirlwind campaign tour of Karnataka starting May 1.

Mr. Yeddyurappa has been asked to chalk out his own campaign plan for the rest of the time, creating some discomfiture, party sources said.

Five rallies per day

BJP national president Amit Shah conveyed the plan to Mr. Yeddyurappa when the two leaders met in Bengaluru briefly on Friday, the sources said. Mr. Yeddyurappa confirmed to reporters that Mr. Shah had asked him to chart an independent campaign schedule. He said his target was to address five public rallies in five Assembly segments every day till May 10.

Against the backdrop of his son B.Y. Vijayendra being denied a ticket in the last minute, the development is expected to strengthen the whisper campaign among Lingayats in north Karnataka that the BJP may ditch Mr. Yeddyurappa after the elections, sources close to him said.

“The suggestion is that the BJP and the JD(S) will turn partners in the event of a hung Assembly and it foresees Mr. Yeddyurappa’s prospects of becoming the Chief Minister dimming in such a scenario,” a senior leader said.

The party needs to counter this by explicitly reassuring voters of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s leadership and allowing him to share the dais with the Prime Minister, he said.

However, another senior BJP leader said Mr. Yeddyurappa’s leadership was announced two years ago, in April 2016, and it was not under any cloud.

Shah acts on campaign

With Mr. Shah visiting Chitradurga district on Sunday, former Minister G. Janardhan Reddy, whose role in the party’s campaign has turned controversial, left Molakalmuru following a reported “diktat” by the party high command. Mr. Reddy has camped in Molakalmuru, managing the campaign of his friend B Sriramulu, contesting from the seat.

Mr. Yeddyurappa sharing the stage with Mr. Janardhan Reddy and openly batting for him has earned the ire of Mr. Shah who cancelled his visit to Ballari on Friday, in an attempt to distance himself from the Reddy brothers.

(With inputs from Chitradurga)

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 5:28:45 PM |

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