Reported By: Rohini Swamy
Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta
Last Updated: March 15, 2023, 16:18 IST
BJP leaders CT Ravi (left) and BY Vijayendra. Pics/Twitter
BJP national general secretary CT Ravi’s statement that the decision of ticket distribution ‘is not taken in the kitchen’ but in the party’s parliamentary board meeting is being seen as a barb directed at BY Vijayendra, son of veteran leader and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa
Controversies seem to be brewing in the Karnataka BJP, causing quite a bit of heartburn — all this at a time when the party is set to decide its final list of candidates for the assembly elections.
Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary CT Ravi’s statement that the decision of ticket distribution “is not taken in the kitchen” but in the BJP’s parliamentary board meeting is being seen as a barb directed at BY Vijayendra, son of veteran leader and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa.
Ravi’s statement has once again highlighted the internal rumblings within the BJP in Karnataka.
“You have to understand one thing, decisions in our party are not taken in the kitchen. Just because you are somebody’s child, it does not mean a ticket will be given. The decision on whom the ticket should be given to will not be taken in their house. You asked me a question about Vijayendra. That decision to give or deny a seat will be taken by the parliamentary board,” said Ravi, while repeating the words “will not be taken in the kitchen” at least six times to emphasise his point.
The senior BJP leader later clarified that his comment was directed at the opposition Janata Dal (Secular) and not Vijayendra.
Interestingly, Yediyurappa, who is on the parliamentary board of the BJP as well as the party’s state election committee, decided to put the controversy to rest.
“What he (Ravi) said is right. Be it Vijayendra or any other MLA’s ticket in Karnataka, the decision lies with the parliamentary board,” he said.
While Ravi was addressing a press conference in Vijayapura on Tuesday, he was asked a question about Vijayendra getting a ticket. In July last year itself, almost a year before Karnataka going to polls, Yediyurappa announced that he would be vacating his seat in Shikaripura for his son BY Vijayendra. He also announced his retirement from active politics this month.
During the media interaction, Ravi went on to say that a ticket will be given to a candidate based on a survey that determines winnability. “But that survey will not take place within their family,” he added cryptically.
Vijayendra, who was touring Kushtagi town in Koppal district, reacted by saying he was not worried about tickets and has been going about strengthening the party cadre as part of his responsibility as vice president of Karnataka BJP.
“In politics, when you grow you begin to make more enemies. I am not worried…CT Ravi is a senior leader. Even he knows the contribution of Yediyurappa to the BJP. The decision of ticket distribution is not done in Yediyurappa’s kitchen or anybody’s kitchen. All of us know where the tickets are finalised,” Vijayendra told News18.
However, a clarification came from Ravi on Tuesday evening, saying his statement was not directed at Vijayendra.
“It’s not about Vijayendra…I said that in the BJP, it is the parliamentary board that takes decisions on who to give tickets to. Decisions are not taken in a ‘kitchen cabinet’. Where does JD(S) make such decisions? In their family kitchen. That’s not how it is done in our party,” the leader stated.
‘Attempt to undercut Vijayendra’
Bengaluru-based political analyst SA Hemanth questioned the rationale behind CT Ravi’s comment.
“Why was Suresh Angadi (former union minister and Belgavi MP)’s wife given a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha bypolls for the Belgavi seat? The BJP has grown in the Belgavi region. There are many other eligible Lingayat candidates like Bharathi Magdum who have served for more than 28 years in the BJP. She could have been given a ticket. Why was Murugesh Nirani’s brother made an MLC? Saundatti BJP MLA Anand Mamani passed away recently. He was the deputy speaker of the legislative assembly. Now, the party is planning to field his widow, Ratna Mamani. Are these not examples of kitchen politics?” asked Hemanth.
The analyst said that such statements reflect the party’s dark underbelly where there is a growing attempt to “undercut” Vijayendra as he is slowly emerging as a strong Lingayat leader.
“There are groups that are jealous and want to nip Vijayendra in the bud. Many who want to take on BSY and Vijayendra are unable to do so openly for fear of inviting the wrath of the Lingayat community,” Hemanth told News18.
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