For both Yeddyurappa and Siddaramaiah, this will be a prestige battle and perhaps the first step towards establishing that they, too, can be dynasts.

First sons of BJP and Cong to fight each other in Ktaka Why Lingayat math matters
news Karnataka 2018 Monday, April 02, 2018 - 19:36

It is now widely believed that the son of present Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, Dr Yathindra, and the son of former CM BS Yeddyurappa, Mr BY Vijayendra, will be contesting from the Varuna constituency in the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections. Notably, Siddaramaiah had won the Assembly Elections from the same constituency in 2008 and 2013.

With Siddaramaiah announcing that he would be contesting from the Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru district, it is probably that his son will contest from Varuna.

Neither Yathindra nor Vijayendra are currently active in politics. The upcoming elections will mark Yathindra’s entry into electoral politics. “He has already held several village-level meetings in the constituency and has undertaken developmental works to woo the electorate. During his meetings, he has repeatedly requested the people of Varuna to bless him this time, signalling his intention to enter electoral politics,” a Congress source had told TNM earlier.

A doctor by profession, Yathindra initially showed no interest in following his father’s footsteps. It was widely accepted that Siddaramaiah’s elder son, Rakesh, would be the heir apparent. Following Rakesh’s death, it appears that Yathindra has taken on this mantle.

“Since this is Siddaramaiah’s constituency and he has won with a good margin in the last two elections, he is confident that his son can win from the same. But if BS Yeddyurappa’s son contests from the same seat, it could become a tough competition,” says a Congress source.

Though the BJP’s reason to make Yathindra contest from Varuna could be the party’s lack of candidates, those close to Yeddyurappa claim that BJP cadre from Varuna has been insisting on Yathindra’s candidature.

“Varuna BJP cadres have written to the leadership asking the party to field Yathindra from the seat. Caste combination and local factors give an edge to Vijayendra if he is chosen as the BJP candidate. He can inspire BJP workers while getting support from Congress leaders sidelined by Siddaramaiah waiting for a chance to avenge,” a source working closely with the BJP leadership said.

Varuna constituency, which is in the JD(S) and Congress-dominated Mysuru region, has a large Lingayat population.

Parties estimate that there around 60,000 Lingayat votes, 42,000 SC votes, 24,000 ST votes, 33,000 Kurba votes, and 13,000 Vokkaliga votes in the constituency.

The Congress believes that Siddaramaiah’s popularity combined with his decision to give minority status to the Lingayats will swing the vote in their direction. The BJP thinks that Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats, who are mainly followers of the Suttur mutt, will continue to support Yeddyurappa.

For both Yeddyurappa and Siddaramaiah, this will be a prestige battle and perhaps the first step towards establishing that they, too, can be dynasts.


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