Difficult for Dalit leaders to rise to the top in BJP
Ramesh Jigajinagi, BJP MP and senior Dalit leader, has said that there is no space for Dalit leaders to grow in the BJP.
“We keep supporting leaders of dominant castes, like Lingayats, by addressing them as Gowda, Sahukar and Patil. We support their growth. However, they do not support us in return. Dalit leaders do not grow to the top easily in this party. It is very sad. But we will accept this and move on,” he told journalists in Vijayapura on November 14 in response to the appointment of B.Y. Vijayendra as president of the Karnataka unit.
Mr. Vijayendra is the son of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa and the BJP MLA representing Shikaripur.
To a query, however, he said that he is not in the race for the post of the BJP president. “I have neither desired, nor sought the post,” he said.
Former Deputy CM and BJP MLA Govind Karjol welcomed the appointment of Mr Vijayendra. Mr. Karjol is a close relative of Mr. Jigajinagi.
Mr. Karjol told reporters in Vijayapura on November 14 that Mr. Vijayendra would play a major role in organising youth and strengthening the BJP in Karnataka. “Now that we have lost the Assembly elections, our central leadership has taken a calculated decision. Mr. Vijayendra is popular among the cadre. He will lead the party to victory in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who is a political adversary of B.S. Yediyurappa, has criticised the choice of B.Y. Vijayendra as the State party president. “This development shows that the present BJP is a hybrid party, not native. It seems like scrap metal (gujari),” he told journalists in Vijayapura on November 13.
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