BS Yediyurappa's Stunning Win in Karnataka Bypolls Shines Brighter with The Rise of His Second Son
Bengaluru: As the bypoll results started trickling in on Monday indicating a sweep for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka, BY Vijayendra, the youngest child of chief minister BS Yediyurappa, rushed to his father's house. He fell at his feet seeking the blessings of an elated father and the photos of that moment were immediately shared with the media.
In a way those pictures became a defining moment of the bypolls, heralding the arrival of Yediyurappa's second son in politics.
The bypoll victory was in many ways Vijayendra's personal triumph as he was his father's backroom boy who strategised the entire election campaign.
The victory in Yediyurappa's birthplace KR Pete in Vokkaliga heartland of Mandya was the icing on the cake. The BJP had never won there and Vijayendra had camped there for a month to ensure his party's maiden win.
Yediyurappa has five children: three daughters and two sons. None of his daughters are in politics. His elder son BY Raghavendra is already a two-time MP from Shimoga, the family pocket borough.
Vijayendra mostly grew up in Bengaluru and did his graduation in law, staying away from politics.
An introvert, who listens more and talks rarely, he is considered a bright guy in Yediyurappa's close circles.
Vijayendra hit the headlines during the Karnataka assembly elections in early 2018. Yediyurappa had nominated him for the Varuna assembly seat against then chief minister Siddaramaiah's son Dr Yatheendra, who was also fighting his first election.
Intra-party squabbling forced Vijayendra to withdraw from the contest, upsetting him and Yediyurappa greatly.
Keeping his father's future in mind, Vijayendra decided to keep a low profile and reluctantly accepted the post of state BJP youth wing general secretary as a consolation prize.
When Yediyurappa became the CM, toppling the JD(S)-Congress government in July, Vijayendra took charge of his father's backroom operations.
There were also allegations of him meddling with the administration and controlling access to Yediyurappa.
An upset CM himself had to issue a clarification, saying that Vijayendra was not running his office.
But, many still believe he has a bigger say in the affairs of the government.
Speaking to News18, Vijayendra rubbished all such allegations, blaming some disgruntled people.
"We had never won any seat in Mandya district even though my father was born there," he said. "I had promised him that I will make sure that we will win a seat this time. I took the responsibility of winning KR Pete. I volunteered myself. Fearing that the BJP would lose, no one was ready to take up that job. But I was confident."
After carefully studying the caste combination in KR Pete, Vijayendra launched an all out attack on the JD(S), finally handing out the defeat.
The win in KR Pete and 11 other assembly seats has elevated his stature in the party, shutting the mouths of his critics, say party insiders.
Some are already demanding that Vijayendra be made a minister in the Yediyurappa government. They argue that it will make the line of succession clear in the family.
But, Vijayendra maintains that he is not interested in power and he is just doing party work.
"When compared to my father, I am just a toddler in politics. I need more experience and chances," he said.
However, the Yediyurappa camp is more or less convinced that Vijayendra could be a worthy successor to his father if he enters active politics during the current term of the BJP government.