The BJP high command has softened its stand on former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa ahead of the by-polls for two constituencies in north Karnataka and the pending Zilla and Taluk Panchayat elections in the state.
The high command which was snubbing Yediyurappa after the anointment of Basavaraj Bommai as the Chief Minister by openly announcing that the Bharatiya Janata Party would emerge victorious in the next assembly elections under the leadership of Bommai and spoke about collective leadership in the elections, now seems to be pacifying him. His close associates M.P. Renukacharya and D.N. Jeevaraj, both former ministers, are being given the posts of Political Secretaries to Chief Minister Bommai with cabinet rank status.
Prior to this one of his close associates, Suresh Gowda had submitted his resignation as the Tumakuru district president. Yediyurappa had stated that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave alone is not enough to win elections in the state. Reacting to Yediyurappa's plan to go on a statewide tour being scuttled by the party, B.Y. Vijayendra has stated that Yediyurappa can still apply the brakes whenever he wanted.
Now that the dates are being announced for the by-elections in Hanagal and Sidhagi, the party has taken it as a prestige issue to win both the seats and gain momentum for the next assembly elections.
BSY to lead BJP to victory
The Hanagal assembly seat was represented by Yediyurappa's close confidante C.M. Udasi. Hanagal constituency is located next to Shikaripur constituency represented by Yediyurappa. He is equally influential in the Sindhagi constituency as well. The party taking no chances, wants to take Yediyurappa along to ensure victory.
By-elections will be held on October 30 and the results will be announced on November 2. The assembly seats were lying vacant following the deaths of former minister and senior BJP leader C.M. Udasi who represented Hanagal constituency in Haveri district and former minister and Janata Parivar leader C.M. Managuli who represented Sindhagi constituency in Vijayapura district. Managuli had won on a JD (S) ticket in the last assembly elections.
Party sources said that the party has realised that Yediyurappa's public appeal and charisma are intact even after stepping down from the top post. The party will lose out if it tried to discard him. His detractors including those from the state in the core committee are not capable of ensuring victories at the ground level.
(With inputs from IANS)