Karnataka

K.R. Pet bypoll helps Vijayendra mark turf

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There is now talk of fielding him in the next Assembly polls from Mandya district

BJP leader K.C. Narayana Gowda, who is also a businessman, scripted history when he won the bypolls from K.R. Pet Assembly segment by a margin of 9,731 votes, despite the constituency being a stronghold of the JD(S).

While Mr. Narayana Gowda is the first MLA from the district representing the saffron party in the State Assembly, this victory appears to have brought a special status to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s second son B.Y. Vijayendra. His elder son B.Y. Raghavendra is already a two-time MP from Shivamogga.

Winning the election was crucial for Mr. Narayana Gowda (a defector from the JD-S) as well the BJP. The JD(S) had swept all the seven Assembly seats in the elections last year. While Mr. Narayana Gowda wanted to re-establish his hold in the constituency, the saffron party eagerly wanted to register its first win in Mandya district as well as establish it as a turf for Mr. Vijayendra, State general secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha. Though his father Mr. Yediyurappa’s political career was built in Shivamogga, K.R. Pet is his native taluk. In fact, throughout the campaign, the “janmabhoomi” mantra was used extensively by Mr. Vijayendra and the party cadre.

“Mr. Vijayendra will work for the victory of at least 15 more Assembly segments in the Old Mysore region in the next election,” said Hassan MLA Preetham J. Gowda, whose role in the victory was also much discussed. The young MLA from Hassan added that the “charisma” of Mr. Yediyurappa [as he is from Bookanakere in K.R. Pet taluk] and energetic campaigning by Mr. Vijayendra helped Mr. Narayana Gowda emerge victorious in the bypolls.

Mr. Gowda said that while the JD(S) tried to constantly projected Mr. Narayana Gowda as an “outsider” (from Mumbai), the BJP leveraged Mr. Yediyurappa’s connection with the place.

A section of leaders believe that buoyed by the success in the bypolls, the party’s district unit will ask the high command to field Mr. Vijayendra to contest the Assembly elections from one of the constituencies. However, Mr. Gowda ruled out the chances of Mr. Vijayendra contesting from Mandya till 2023.

The party’s national and State presidents and the Chief Minister will decide on fielding Mr. Vijayendra from Mandya district only after the completion of the term of present Assembly, he said.

Interestingly, Mr. Vijayendra was the news during the Assembly elections in 2018 when Mr. Yediyurappa had nominated him for the Varuna Assembly seat against then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra. However, this was shot down by the Central leaders, causing embarrassment to Mr. Yediyurappa.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:53:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kr-pet-bypoll-helps-vijayendra-mark-turf/article30307557.ece

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