‘Follow Gujarat model, let youngsters contest polls’: BJP MP’s advise for party ahead of Karnataka elections

With the Karnataka Assembly polls slated for next year, a Rajya Sabha MP from the state has a piece of advise for the ruling BJP — to bring in more youth and let go of the veterans as the party did in Gujarat while announcing its first list of candidates.

Unveiling its first list of 160 names for the Gujarat Assembly elections Thursday, state BJP president C R Paatil had called it a “generational shift”.

Citing this, MP Lahar Singh Siroya said senior party leaders should make way for youngsters in the 2023 polls in the interest of the party. In a series of messages on social media, the BJP MP asked the party’s leaders in Karnataka to follow the example set in Gujarat where senior leaders like former CM Vijay Rupani and others opted out of contesting the polls.

“What has happened in Gujarat should serve as a model in Karnataka too. Former Gujarat CM @vijayrupanibjp, former Dy. CM @Nitinbhai_Patel , as well as former ministers, @imBhupendrasinh and @PradipsinhGuj, have decided not to contest the Assembly polls,” the BJP MP wrote on Twitter.

“This is a commendable move to strengthen democracy by allowing a smooth generational change. Karnataka Assembly polls will be held in a few months from now. Senior leaders should make way for younger people in the larger interest of the State and the nation,” he added.

The comments come at a time when senior BJP leaders, like K S Eshwarappa, Nehru Olekar, G H Thippareddy, are looking at being part of the state cabinet and contesting the polls next year.

Veteran B S Yediyurappa, who is a member of the BJP parliamentary board, has indicated that he will not contest his Shikaripura seat in 2023 and that his younger son B Y Vijayendra would be the candidate if the BJP chooses to give him a ticket.

Yediyurappa, 79, was forced to quit as the CM of Karnataka in 2021 on account of his advancing age and was replaced by the younger Basavaraj Bommai, who hails from the Lingayat community like Yediyurappa.

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