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Son-ny Side Up: BSY’s Son Vijayendra Powers BJP to Maiden Win in Tough Sira Assembly Bypoll

BY Vijayendra seeks his father and chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s blessings after delivering a win for the BJP in the tough Sira assembly seat.

BY Vijayendra seeks his father and chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s blessings after delivering a win for the BJP in the tough Sira assembly seat.

Vijayendra, who is one of the vice-presidents of the state BJP, has now announced his arrival by securing the toughest seat for his party. The bypoll victory was in many ways Vijayendra's personal triumph as he was his father's backroom boy who strategised the entire election campaign, where the BJP had no hope a month ago.

D P Satish

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra’s winning magic continues in Karnataka. As results and trends for bypolls on Sira and RR Nagara Assembly seats indicated a sweep for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka, BY Vijayendra, the youngest child of Yediyurappa, rushed to his father's house to claim victory in Sira, the seat where the BJP never even managed to secure its deposit in the past.

Vijayendra, who is one of the vice-presidents of the state BJP, has now announced his arrival by securing the toughest seat for his party. The bypoll victory was in many ways Vijayendra's personal triumph as he was his father's backroom boy who strategised the entire election campaign, where the BJP had no hope a month ago.

The victory in the Vokkaliga heartland was the icing on the cake. The BJP had never won there and Vijayendra had camped there for 20 days to ensure his party's maiden win.

After winning KR Pete Assembly seat in Mandya for the party last year, Vijayendra had emerged as a lead election strategist for the party in the state. The win in Sira has taken him to another level.

It is no secret that Vijayendra was eyeing the post of state BJP general secretary in charge of Old Mysore region where the BJP is still a third party. He wanted to build the party at grassroots level in the Gowda heartland by using his organization skills. But, some party insiders opposed to his father stalled that and made him a vice-president, which is a ceremonial post. He reluctantly accepted that, telling his close circles that he will prove his worth irrespective of the post he has been offered.

Yediyurappa has five children: three daughters and two sons. None of his daughters are in politics. His elder son BY Raghavendra is already a two-time MP from Shimoga, the family pocket borough. Vijayendra mostly grew up in Bengaluru and did his graduation in Law, staying away from politics.

An introvert, who listens more and talks rarely, he is considered a bright guy in Yediyurappa's close circles. Vijayendra hit the headlines during the Karnataka assembly elections in early 2018. Yediyurappa had nominated him for the Varuna assembly seat against then chief minister Siddaramaiah's son Dr Yatheendra, who was also fighting his first election.

Intra-party squabbling forced Vijayendra to withdraw from the contest, upsetting him and Yediyurappa greatly. Keeping his father's future in mind, Vijayendra decided to keep a low profile and reluctantly accepted the post of state BJP youth wing general secretary as a consolation prize.

When Yediyurappa became the CM, toppling the JD(S)-Congress government in July, Vijayendra took charge of his father's backroom operations. There were also allegations of him meddling in the administration and controlling access to Yediyurappa. Recently, a Kannada news channel aired a series of programmes against him, claiming he is neck deep in corruption. Police raided the TV channel’s office in a controversial move. The channel is now off air.

An upset CM himself had to issue a clarification, saying that Vijayendra was not running his office. But many still believe he has a bigger say in the affairs of the government.

Speaking to News18, Vijayendra rubbished the allegations. "We had never won Sira. I had promised my father that I will make sure that we will win a seat this time. I took the responsibility of winning Sira. I volunteered myself. Fearing that the BJP would lose, no one was ready to take up that job. But I was confident."

After carefully studying the caste combination in Sira, Vijayendra launched an all-out attack on the Congress and JD-S, finally handing out the defeat. The win has elevated his stature in the party, silencing his critics, say party insiders.

Some are already demanding that Vijayendra be made a minister in the Yediyurappa government. They argue that it will make the line of succession clear in the family. Some are requesting him to contest the bypolls from Basavanakalyan in Bidar.

But, Vijayendra maintains that he is not interested in power and he is just doing party work. "When compared to my father, I am just a toddler in politics. I need more experience and chances," he said.

However, the Yediyurappa camp is more or less convinced that Vijayendra could be a worthy successor to his father if he enters active politics during the current term of the BJP government.


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