Karnataka BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel on Friday appointed Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's son B Y Vijayendra, among 10 others, as Vice Presidents for the party's state unit. Among the prominent to figure in the list of Vice Presidents are former Minister Arvind Limbavali, Members of Parliament Shobha Karandlaje and Pratap Simha.
Former Union Minister Ananth Kumar's wife Tejaswini Anath Kumar, who was appointed as Vice President after being denied a ticket to contest from Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency during the 2019 Parliament election, will continue in the post of Vice President.
Along with Vice Presidents, Kateel has also appointed four General Secretaries,10 state secretaries, two treasurers, one each office secretary and spokesperson, among others, putting in place a full fledged team of office bearers, after him taking over as the state President in August last year.
For Vijayendra, who is seen as the successor to Yediyurappa, this is a promotion within the party. He was so far serving as Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) general secretary. In a tweet thanking the party leadership for appointing an "ordinary worker" like him as Vice President, Vijayendra said "guidance from seniors, cooperation from karyakartas, blessings from the people can only become stepping stones for my success."
In an apparent placatory move, the BJP had appointed Vijayendra as its youth wing general secretary soon after he was denied a party ticket to contest from Varuna constituency in Mysuru, ahead of the May 2018 assembly polls.
Vijayendra is said to have increased his stakes within the party after he, along Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, ensured BJP's victory in the K R Pet constituency of Mandya district, thus breaching the Vokkaliga-dominated region that JD(S) had made its bastion for a long time, during the December 2019 assembly bypolls.
Vijayendra's appointment comes amid allegations about his growing influence in administrative affairs. Also there are reports that Yediyurappa may have to step down as CM, considering his age and the party's policy towards seniors crossing 75 years of age, and that he may in return seek a gubernatorial position and a key post for Vijayendra.
Vijayendra's elder brother B Y Raghavendra is a Member of Parliament from Shivamogga constituency.
While N Ravi Kumar continues as the BJP's state General Secretary, Ashwathnarayan, who was till now a spokesperson, has also been appointed for the post. Kateel has also made appointments of presidents to the party's youth wing, women's wing and farmers wing, among others.