Lok Sabha Polls: ‘Royal Surprise’ in Karnataka? BJP Reaches Out to Wadiyar Scion for Kodagu-Mysuru Seat – News18

Scion of the Mysuru royal family, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar during Dasara celebrations in October last year. (Image: PTI/File)(PTI10_15_2023_000150B)

Sources in Karnataka BJP said senior leaders have reached out to Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, but the final decision will be taken by Rajmata Pramoda Devi Wadiyar as the seat is also CM Siddaramaiah’s home turf

The BJP is known to spring surprises in its candidate selection and Karnataka, which added 25 MPs to the party’s kitty in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, might witness a few of them ahead of the upcoming polls.

According to sources in the state BJP, senior party leaders have reached out to Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the scion of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, to contest from the Kodagu-Mysuru Lok Sabha constituency.

“Senior leaders have reached out to Yaduveer but the final decision will be taken by Rajmata Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, who has to agree. It is also chief minister Siddaramaiah’s home turf, so they will also consider all aspects and won’t want to antagonise anyone,” said a source close to the state leadership.

Yaduveer was adopted by Pramoda Devi Wadiyar after the death of her husband Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, who was the royal scion’s great uncle. He became the head of the family through an anointment ceremony in 2015, and has a degree from the University of Massachusetts. He has been active in the social sphere by taking part in several cultural and charity events.

The sitting MP from this constituency, Pratap Simha, is under scrutiny for multiple reasons. While local leaders are miffed with him for not hearing them out, the central government was left embarrassed when it became public that Simha had issued visitor passes to one of the accused in the Parliament security breach case.

“Local leaders are not in his favour; they are the ones who work. His brother has been involved in an illegal tree felling controversy. All this might make the leadership look for a new candidate,” said a senior BJP leader, who has handled elections in the Old Mysuru region.

The Wadiyar family enjoys goodwill in this region for their contributions like building the KRS dam, several educational and healthcare institutions and even HAL. The kingdom, which is known for its progressive and far-sighted policies, is not new to politics.

Srikantadatta first contested an election in 1984 and became Mysuru’s MP four times, and lost twice. Despite local opposition, Simha is banking on his performance as a two-time MP to get the ticket again.

“The party and workers have ensured my growth for Modi ji (PM Narendra Modi), I know the party has faith in me. I am confident that our state and national leaders will give me good news and another opportunity. I have written a book about the prime minister and he knows about me and will bless me,” he said.

With the BJP forced to make changes in at least six to eight parliamentary constituencies due to factors like age, retirement and anti-incumbency, it has to be seen if the saffron party wants to change MPs in other relatively safe seats.