BJP Protests In Mysuru, Senior Leaders Threaten Mass Resignation

Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: The contest at Mysuru's Varuna, a seat held by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, was expected to be a face-off between his son Dr Yatheendra Siddaramaiah and BS Yeddyurappa's son BY Vijayendra

BJP Protests In Mysuru, Senior Leaders Threaten Mass Resignation

BJP workers from Mysuru have threatened to resign if BS Yeddyurappa's son is not allowed to contest.

Mysuru:  Mysuru witnessed massive protests by BJP workers today as the party's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa announced that his son, BY Vijayendra will not be its candidate for the Varuna seat. The contest at Varuna, currently held by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, was expected to be a face-off between his son Dr Yatheendra Siddaramaiah and Yeddyurappa junior.  The workers from the Mysuru region have threatened mass resignation. The party's central leadership, whom they blame for the surprise decision, is yet to respond.

Announcing it was his decision which also had the backing of the party high command, Mr Yeddyurappa said his son will now campaign for "many seats in this area".

BY Vijayendra, a farmer and businessman who is in his 30s, had been camping out at Varuna for nearly a month, campaigning and interacting with the locals.  The announcement, made at Nanjanagudu near Mysuru, caught the supporters entirely by surprise. Before the meeting -- which took place soon after the BJP announced its fourth list of candidates -- Mr Yeddyurappa and his son were busy campaigning in the area.

BJP workers present at the venue shouted slogans against party chief Amit Shah and the state's senior leader Ananth Kumar and went on a vandalism spree. Some of them rushed to the cars of the leaders, demanding that they be told why BY Vijayendra was not being allowed to contest.

Minutes later, the street outside the hotel where Mr Yeddyurappa and his son were staying, became a sea of protesters. Hundreds of workers barricaded the hotel, shouting slogans. The police was called in to control the crowd and batons were used.

Upset supporters claimed that the decision not to field BY Vijayendra will harm the party. The workers even gave an ultimatum to the party leaders - saying unless Mr Vijayendra was allowed to contest, workers from the whole Mysuru region will resign and vote for the candidate fielded by rival Janata Dal Secular of HD Deve Gowda.

In the evening, the local office bearers of the party held a press conference and re-iterated the threat.

Mr Yeddyurappa's elder son BY Raghevendra told NDTV that they were trying to control damage after announcement. "Seems unlikely that there will be change of decision on Vijayendra. Yeddyurappa  announced the decision publicly. It is wrong to blame the high command. The decision was taken by my father," he added.

The BJP is yet to announce a candidate for Varuna. Mr Yeddyurappa  has said any candidate fielded from the constituency, currently represented in the assembly by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, will win.

The Congress, which has fielded Mr Siddaramaiah's son Yatheendra Siddaramaiah, was quick to say the decision revealed the BJP's timidity. Mr Siddaramaiah won the Varuna constituency twice in a row. His elder son and political heir Rakesh Siddaramaiah, who died two years ago, had been nurturing the constituency on his behalf of his father. Leaving what is seen by the party as a safe seat, Mr Siddaramaiah is contesting from neighbouring Chamundeshwari. He is also contesting from Badami, a seat in the northern part of the state.

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