BY Vijayendra, a 47-year old first-time MLA on Wednesday officially took charge as the Karnataka BJP President, months after former chief Nalin Kateel was relieved after the party lost Assembly polls in the State. With a new captain, the party is now getting battle-ready for the Lok Sabha polls by wooing back its voter base.
The son of BJP stalwart BS Yediyurappa has started his innings by declaring to aim for victory in all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the elections next year. While asking for the support of his party workers for the same, he has assured to revive the party’s past glory in Karnataka and make it a BJP stronghold region again.
Vijayendra’s elevation to the top post could result in BJP winning back its dedicated Lingayat voter base. “The strategy here is to bring back the Lingayat voter base who off-late have not been happy with the party’s moves,” said political analyst Rajendra Chenni. He adds that this move is also to ride of the fanfare of party’s tall leader BSY, who continues to have a significant influence on the masses.
While the father has a proven track record, the son is being seen as a promising face for the party. His work in the JD(S) dominant areas in the Assembly polls, has been taken notice of. Vijayendra given the age factor resonates well with the youth and is on his own way to have a following of his own, Chenni notes.
The elevation of a promising face also comes at a time when the party largely is loosing stability. Most of its leaders facing heavy anti-incumbency in the state. Some strong faces have even jumped ship and some have opted out of electoral polls. Jagadish Shettar shifting to Congress and Sadananda Gowda announcing retirement from electoral polls for instance.
Vijayendra also faces the task of keeping the ship together at a time when his elevation has upset a certain set of senior party leaders, as they nurse apprehensions of becoming irrelevant and losing their say and hold in the party.