Karnataka BJP begins Jan Swaraj Yatra to mobilise support for panchayat polls

The Jan Swaraj Yatra begins from today under four teams led by senior party leaders including former chief minister BS Yediyurappa
Image for representation. (File photo)
Image for representation. (File photo)
Updated on Nov 18, 2021 04:36 PM IST
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BySharan Poovanna

Four teams, led by senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will commence their state-wide tour of the party from Thursday to meet the grassroots level workers and mobilize support for the upcoming panchayat polls in Karnataka.

The Jan Swaraj Yatra begins from today under four teams led by senior party leaders BS Yediyurappa, KS Eshwarappa, Jagadish Shettar and Nalin Kumar Kateel across the state starting in different regions.

“Today I will go to Koppala. We will start the Jan Swaraj Yatra from there. There are four teams. One under our leader BS Yediyurappa, Jagadish Shettar, one under our party president (Kateel) and another under Eshwarappa. They will travel across the state and meet elected representatives and request all voters to help our party candidates win. One team will visit two districts per day,” chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Thursday in Bengaluru.

The statements come weeks before the December 10 polls for 25 seats in the upper house of the state legislature. Those whose terms are expiring in January include BJP minister Kota Srinivas Poojary and Congress leader of the house SR Patil among others.

The BJP, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) are hopeful to win as many seats as possible to retain some control over the upper house. The BJP, which has 32 seats currently, is hoping to mobilize support to get a majority in the upper house to allow easy passage of contentious bills without having to depend on their rivals for support. The Congress has 29 members and the JD(S) has 12 members currently.

Several members of the opposition, especially from the JD(S), are trying to defect to the BJP to secure a seat in the upcoming polls.

“Other than a couple of districts, we have sent a list of the probables up (to Delhi). We are hopeful of the list getting approved by this evening. If not, by tomorrow morning it will be done,” Bommai said.

The state-wide tour also comes at a time when the BJP is trying to thwart growing accusations that its senior leaders are involved in the raging Bitcoin scandal.

Bommai also faces the people after the party lost the bypolls in Hanagal in his home district of Haveri, which is speculated to be a backlash from the Panchamasali sub-sect and his own partymen plotting against the former.

The BJP had not approved the statewide tour of Yediyurappa and instead forced him to be part of this yatra which, people aware of the developments said, was to keep the 78-year-old under control.

The grassroots have also expressed their reservations about the possibility that new entrants may be given a chance in the upcoming MLC polls by overlooking core-party workers which is likely to adversely impact other elections like zilla and taluka panchayat that are expected to be held early next year.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021