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Karnataka Polls: BJP Confident of Returning to Power Without Help of Any Regional Party, Says BY Vijayendra

Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

Last Updated: February 23, 2023, 09:17 IST

State BJP vice-president BY Vijayendra said promises made for special religious status and reservation to the Lingayats could be fulfilled if the BJP returned to power with a single majority. (@Vijayendra Yeddyurappa/Twitter)

From galvanising youth’s support for BJP to shifting focus from “Tipu versus Savarkar” narrative to development, state vice-president BY Vijayendra said party was confident about returning to power “without help of any regional party”

Karnataka Elections 2023

Karnataka BJP’s vice-president BY Vijayendra is confident that “justice will be done” to the Lingayat community in terms of promises made for special religious status and reservation. He said it could be fulfilled if the BJP returned to power with a single majority.

“It is a fact that there are a lot of demands from the Lingayats and other communities as well… What we are saying is if BJP comes back to power in Karnataka… if they (Lingayats) have to get any justice, it will only be through the BJP,” Vijayendra told News18 in an exclusive interview.

On the question of whether it meant that the BJP will fulfil the demands if it comes to power, he added, “It does not mean it will not happen. Ultimately, the decision is with the high command but I am sure justice will be done.”

From galvanising the youth’s support for the BJP to shifting the focus from the “Tipu versus Savarkar” narrative to development, Vijayendra said the BJP was confident of returning to power “without the help of any regional party”.

Vijayendra was in Mandya, which is an important seat in the Old Mysore region known to be a stronghold of BJP and Congress. The belt has a large population of Vokkaligas, the second largest community in Karnataka after the Lingayats.

Vijayendra has been buoyed by the 2019 KR Pete bypoll win, a seat where the lotus had never bloomed. The candidate, KC Narayan Gowda, has crossed over from Congress to BJP and retained his seat. Vijayendra’s involvement in winning the Sira seat as well gave him an added advantage to discuss his prospects with the top leaders.

Mandya has a special place in the hearts of the BS Yediyurappa family, as not only is KR Pete the former chief minister’s birthplace but the veteran leader has a massive following in the region. This is why Vijayendra, Yediyurappa’s son, has been tasked with galvanising support for the BJP in the political terrain, which is largely occupied by the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress.

Asked if the JD(S) or Congress was the BJP’s bigger competitor, Vijayendra said if you wanted to win big, you should not consider the opposition weak. “Both JD(S) and Congress are equally important. When the BJP is trying its best, you should not consider the opposition weak. We have to fight both. Our central leadership has a clear strategy and there is no understanding with any regional party,” Vijayendra said, reiterating that there will be no tie-up with the saffron party’s former ally JD(S).

So, does that mean the BJP is planning to kill two birds with one stone? “We want to destroy the opposition. People want an absolute majority for the BJP and the way we have delivered at the Centre and state, the BJP will surely come back to power,” he added.

Recently, Vijayendra spoke of using a special “brahmastra” for every region in Karnataka. Asked what his brahmastra will be for the Old Mysore region, he refused to share details. A win in the Old Mysore region is crucial for any party to come to power as it will then have greater influence in the region, and can potentially form the government in the state.

Mandya, which falls in the Old Mysore region, is a strong Vokkaliga belt. The community has traditionally voted in favour of the JD(S) and Congress. “The Vokkaligas have felt let down by the JD(S) and Congress, and were looking for a third alternative. The BJP has emerged as their third alternative now. We are here to win the confidence of the community and with our win in the Vokkaliga dominated KR Pete in 2019, it shows they have trusted us,” Vijayendra said.

He also answered a question about whether the BJP’s poll pitch this time is “Tipu versus Savarkar”, but he blamed the Opposition for building that narrative. “We are approaching people on what we have done in terms of development,” he said, indicating that the BJP’s poll plank has shifted from the Tipu narrative to showcasing the development in Karnataka during the party’s rule.

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