BJP leadership hints at candidacy of erstwhile Mysuru royal over Pratap Simha

Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra refrained from replying to reporters' questions, but hinted at a possible change in candidacy in the seat.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Mar 11, 2024 | 9:00 AMUpdatedMar 11, 2024 | 9:00 AM

BJP Parliament Security Breach Lok Sabha Mysuru MP Pratap Simha

In a dramatic turn of events for the Mysuru Lok Sabha seat, the BJP leadership has dropped a tantalising hint about the potential candidacy of erstwhile Mysuru royal scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, raising questions about incumbent MP Pratap Simha’s future.

In a bid to win the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, the BJP high command is said to be still deliberating with the state leadership to field efficient and winnable candidates despite the state core committee submitting the final list of candidates for all the seats.

Though the BJP central leadership is in favour of fielding incumbent parliamentarians in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the party high command is planning to field new faces in some constituencies, dropping the sitting parliamentarians, claimed BJP sources.

BY Vijayendra refrained from replying to reporters’ questions on the unprecedented developments in Mysuru politics. However, he hinted about the possible change in candidacy in the Mysuru Lok Sabha seat.

Amidst all the developments, MP Pratap Simha exuded confidence that the party would field him, considering his development works in the last 1o years and perceived popularity among voters in the segment.

Simha, however, has been embroiled in several controversies over the past couple of years. The most prominent of them was the fact that his office issued the passes that two intruders used to breach the security of Parliament on 13 December last year.

Parliament security breach: MP Pratap Simha says people will decide if he is ‘traitor’

Royal candidacy?

Amidst speculation surrounding the candidacy of Maharaja Yaduveer Wadiyar for the Mysuru-Kodagu constituency, BJP leaders have emphasised the party’s commitment to prioritise winnability as the primary criterion for selecting candidates, with a fresh evaluation process underway in Mysuru.

Admitting that the party’s central leadership was chalking out a fresh strategy for the Mysuru-Kodagu seat, the saffron cadre leaders hinted at Yaduveer’s candidacy over Pratap Simha’s.

On condition of anonymity, a BJP leader told South First: “The high command will make decisions that are in the interest of the party, and winnability is the main criteria while finalising the candidates in every constituency — including Mysuru.”

He added: “The district committee has shortlisted names and sent them to the state core committee. They finalised candidate names, and submitted a report to the high command.”

He noted: “It is important to note that the shortlisted candidates will not be the ultimate faces of the party. Considering winning and other factors, candidates are likely to be changed while finalising.”

On Yaduveer’s candidacy, the BJP leader said: “The party is carrying out surveys in each constituency. It has also set certain parameters for all the seats. The party will field those candidates who have higher chances of victory, considering the goal to win 370 seats.”

On whether the party high command approached the Mysuru royal, he said: “The high command is looking into it. The party leaders do not have any clue. However, the candidates will be finalised based on the local opinion, political situation, and developments. In fact, among the BJP’s Karnataka MPs, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha is the top performer whether it is the utilisation of grants or development works. The high command will make decisions in the interest of the party.”

According to sources: “Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, former MLA Appachu Ranjan, and former MP HC Vijayshankar were shortlisted for Mysuru-Kodagu seat. Simha’s name was finalised and sent to the core committee. Yaduveer’s name was not among those of the shortlisted candidates.”

Responding to these developments, BJP state president Vijayendra told reporters: “Whatever might be opinions, the party high command and central election committee will take the final call. There is no question of confusion. Whoever the party might field, the leaders must work unitedly.”

He added: “I don’t wish to disclose what has been discussed within four walls. But this time we will field winnable candidates, and the party will win in all the 28 seats [in Karnataka].”

Also Read: JD(S) pushes for 4 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka

Mysuru MP exudes confidence

Incumbent MP Pratap Simha exuded confidence that the party high command would bless him with the ticket, considering the development works and popularity among the voters.

Simha successfully contested twice from the same segment — in 2014 and 2019. He is hoping for the party ticket for the third consecutive time from the same seat.

Simha told reporters in Mysuru on Saturday: “It is the people who decide the ticket for parliamentarians. The party will give a ticket considering our performance and response.”

He added: “People are ready to hold my hands in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. I am confident that the party will not leave me behind.”

He continued: “If I win from the Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha seat, Siddaramaiah’s chief minister’s chair will be under threat.”

Simha also said: “In the last decade, I have carried out development in all the possible sectors. I dare someone to say that I have not performed. I have carried out more development in Mysuru than anyone in the past. I also worked in favour of Hindutva.”

He added: “I am confident that my development will protect me. I will win by a margin of 2-3 lakh votes in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The party workers have already chosen their candidate. I am not a ruler but a worker.”