Vijayendra’s leadership dreams get a platform

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa with Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru and B.Y. Vijayendra at a convention in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa with Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru and B.Y. Vijayendra at a convention in Bengaluru on Sunday.  

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s son B.Y. Vijayendra was at the forefront of organising a convention of seers, predominantly from the Lingayat community, here on Sunday. This was a carefully curated platform for him to emerge as a young leader of reckoning within the community, advisers to the father-son duo said.

This is the first time Mr. Vijayendra has tried to project himself as a leader on a mass platform linked to the community, sources in the powerful community body Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha said. “He has turned out to be a rising young leader. But a person’s leadership quality is tested when out of power, not when in power,” a senior functionary said.

The Opposition leaders also sharing stage with him will only give credence to the projection of his leadership, sources said.

Led by Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, several seers and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who were active in the recent Lingayat religion movement shared stage with Mr. Vijayendra at the convention. This may not go down well with the powerful Panchamasali and Veerashaiva subsects, sources said.

Mr. Vijayendra, with the blessing of his father, has been on an orchestrated campaign to gain foothold both in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Lingayat-Veerashaiva community, trying to position himself as the political successor to his father. He had accompanied the Chief Minister during the recent parleys with the high command over Cabinet expansion, raising eyebrows.

As BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel is all set to reorganise the party organisation here, the Chief Minister has been pushing to get Mr. Vijayendra appointed as general secretary, sources said. Taking him to meetings with the high command was to lobby for the same. However, the central leadership has made no promises, sources said.

Mr. Vijayendra was in-charge of bypolls in K.R. Pet, Mandya, that the party won for the first time in history and this is being cited as proof of his organisational skills. After being denied ticket for Varuna segment during the 2018 Assembly polls, he was accommodated in the party’s youth wing.

However, the Chief Minister promoting his son has irked many senior leaders within the party especially from the Lingayat-Veerashaiva community.

“Opposition to dynastic politics has been our main plank against the Congress and we cannot be seen falling for the same,” a senior party leader said.

In the unsigned letter being circulated in the party and on social media, calling for a change of the Chief Minister, Mr. Vijayendra has been accused of “running a parallel administration”. Shortly after Mr. Yediyurappa took charge last year, Mr. Vijayendra had to publicly deny allegations of interference in administration.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:20:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vijayendras-leadership-dreams-get-a-platform/article30836932.ece

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