Bengaluru: With the BJP high command endorsing Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai as the face of the party in the 2023 Assembly elections and with no important post coming his way, former chief minister and party veteran B S Yediyurappa is all set to embark on a state-wide tour after the Ganesha festival and the Assembly session.
Though BSY has said his tour is to galvanize the BJP ahead of the polls, sources say that the Lingayat leader is planning to prove that the people are with him and that he still holds the trump card.
While Bommai has proved to be a good leader, it is BSY who is a mass leader. He will utilise the pre-poll moths to build up support not just for the BJP, but for himself too so that he can be in a position to bargain a good deal for his son BY Vijayendra, who too was sidelined by the party bosses in Delhi.
Back after a rejuvenation break from the Maldives, the four-time CM is likely to start his tour in the first week of October, after the 10-day Legislature session which ends on September 24. The Rs 1 crore Toyota Vellfire, a high-end, seven-seater luxury car – his first car that he recently purchased -- will come handy for his long and arduous tour.
Yediyurappa plans to focus on the Mumbai-Karnataka, Hyderabad-Karnataka, Central Karnataka and the coastal regions where the BJP has won successively. But the Old Mysuru region, considered a stronghold of the Opposition Congress and JDS, will be a tough terrain for BSY.
Top BJP leaders have chosen to be cautious over former BSY’s tour. The big concern is that he may create a parallel leadership in the state.
For the records, Arun Singh, BJP national general secretary incharge of Karnataka said “Yediyurappa is the most experienced leader. If he wants to tour the state, let him do. It will only benefit the party.” However, this has put the leadership in a spot of bother — Yediyurappa’s proactive move may create confusion among the cadre and voters at a time when the party is planning to go to polls with Bommai as its face.
BSY plans to tag his son and BJP state vice-president Vijayendra during the tour. He is likely to be projected as the rightful successor to BSY.
“Vijayendra is looking to establish his significance before the next elections. His efforts to get ministerial berth have been unsuccessful so far and the programmes being charted out are aimed to show the support base the father and son are commanding,” a functionary from Yediyurappa camp was quoted saying in the media.