To win Karnakata bypolls, BJP falls back on ousted Yediyurappa

The 78-year-old Lingayat strongman has been roped in to campaign in Sindagi and Hanagal, where bypolls are to be held on October 30.

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The party believes that Yeddyurappa not campaigning for the poll-bound seats will give out the wrong message.

The BJP might have removed 78-year-old BS Yediyurappa from the post of Karnataka chief minister this year, but the Lingayat strongman still seems to be the party’s best bet when it comes to winning elections.

The BJP has roped in Yediyurappa to campaign in the constituencies of Sindagi and Hanagal, where the bypolls are to be held on October 30, and winning which is a matter of prestige for the saffron party.

It was reported after a recent BJP committee meeting in Davanagere that the party’s Karnataka leaders had stressed on the need to win both the Lingayat-dominated seats, as failure to do so will send out a wrong message ahead of the state polls in 2023.

Yeddyurappa not campaigning will also give out the wrong message, it is believed. A report in The New Indian Express quoted a senior BJP leader as saying: “Yediyurappa might have stepped down as the CM… but he is inevitable for the party. Even if he makes a speech for just 10 minutes, it will help the party.”

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The report added that BJP state general secretary N Ravikumar has said the party would fight the bypolls under the collective leadership of Yediyurappa, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and BJP state chief Nalin Kumar Kateel.

For the CM, Hanagal is in his home district and retaining it will be a matter of prestige for him. The party is reportedly likely to field Ramesh Bhusanur from Sindagi, who lost in 2018 to MC Managuli of JD-S, and Revati Udasi from Hanagal.

Bommai on Sunday told reporters: “Hanagal has been our constituency whereas Sindagi is a JD(S) fort but take it from me that we are 100 per cent sure of winning both the seats.”

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