Bengaluru, state vice-president B.Y. Vijayendra on Tuesday strongly defended his father and Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa over the handling of the high-profile drug case in which Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi has been arrested.
Vijayendra asserted that “merely involving oneself in campaigning for a candidate of any party does not qualify them to be a party worker of a particular party.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Vijayendra retorted that Ragini may have campaigned for BJP candidates, but that does not make her a BJP worker or a leader.
“This is a wrong perception being built around a false argument that anyone who campaigns for a particular party, he or she eventually is considered as that party’s worker or leader. It is not so. Ragini being a famous actress wanted to campaign for a candidate, that was her and the candidate’s personal choice and it was purely based on their personal rapport with each other, so she chose to campaign. How can BJP be blamed for this?” he questioned.
In the same breath, he claimed that there were many instances in the past when the same actor or actress has campaigned for candidates from different parties. “Such being the case, Ragini campaigning for someone should not be linked to BJP in any way,” he contended.
He further asserted that there was no pressure on anyone in their party to protect anyone. “These are baseless charges against our party’s government in the state, which is working harder than all its predecessors to dismantle the drug mafia which has spread its tentacles across the state. The BJP government will act responsibly and honestly to deal with this menace,” he maintained.
Vijayendra is the son of Yediyurappa and is often seen as the heir apparent to Yediyurappa’s legacy. He has earlier been criticised by his own party leaders for meddling in government affairs.
Vijayendra asserted that those who were making allegations that he had indulged in corrupt practices should release the evidence in public.
“This is not the first time that my family has faced such allegations. Such allegations existed in the past too. Now also our detractors are making the same allegations. If they have an iota of proof against me, let them show it. Through the media I am also appealing to my detractors to come out with the proof in public,” he said.
Vijayendra’s remarks are being seen as a strong rebuttal to Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah’s remarks in the matter.
Siddaramaiah had charged on Monday that a section of BJP leaders were trying to protect Ragini and were unduly pressuring the city police to go soft on the investigation in the case.