The BJP on Friday appointed Vijayendra Yediyurappa, the son of former Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa, its state unit president, a surprise move that underscores the party leadership’s acknowledgement of the veteran Lingayat leader’s enduring influence on its fortunes.
Vijayendra, who was elected as an MLA in the assembly polls held earlier this year, is seen as a deft organisational leader and replaces Nalinkumar Kateel.
The appointment of the 47-year-old leader, seen as the political heir to Yediyurappa, ends months of speculation as a change of guard in the state was widely expected since the BJP suffered a big defeat to the Congress in the polls held in May.
Though it was always a strong probability that the BJP will pick a Lingayat leader to lead its state unit but its decision to pick the first-time MLA ignoring the dynastic plank, something it has used to target rivals, has highlighted the political importance his father continues to wield despite being eased out of electoral politics by the party.
His elder son B Y Raghavendra is a Lok Sabha MP and the BJP has often tried to ensure that it is not seen encouraging more than one member of a family in politics.