Continuing with its recent practice of picking low-profile candidates who have served the Sangh Parivar well, the BJP has now chosen K Narayan (63), a press owner, as its candidate for the bypoll to the Rajya Sabha seat which recently fell vacant after the newly-elected MP Ashok Gasti, a grassroots worker, died following a Covid infection.
Narayan — a member of the backward class Devanga or weaver community which does not have much of a representation in the BJP government in Karnataka — was a surprise pick to fill the vacancy.
Narayan, who owns a printing firm called Span Print, has been recognised by the Sangh for efforts to popularise Sanskrit by publishing a Sanskrit magazine called ‘Sambhashana Sandesha’ for several years and for social activism in the coastal Karnataka region.
“I would like to heartily congratulate K Narayan who has been chosen to be the party candidate for the RS vacancy,” Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said.
The decision is being seen as a continuation of the party’s recent policy of giving Yediyurappa little or no say in matters outside the purview of the state government. Earlier, the BJP central leadership overruled recommendations made by Yediyurappa for the Rajya Sabha polls by picking long-term party workers Eranna Kadadi, a member of the dominant Lingayat community, and Ashok Gasti, a backward class leader from the Raichur region, as its candidates for Rajya Sabha polls held on June 19.
Like in the case of Gasti and Kadadi, Narayan’s nomination is considered to have followed a recommendation from BJP national organising secretary B L Santhosh, who hails from Karnataka.
The bypoll is scheduled to be held on December 1.
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