BJP readies for ‘power push’ in Karnataka, to bring heavyweights to state
At least 13 Union ministers, five chief ministers and three youth leaders of the BJP will visit Karnataka over the next 55 days seeking support for the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa.Updated: Nov 06, 2017 23:33 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will give a “power push” to its rally to build a campaign against the “acute farm distress, rampant corruption and increasing radicalisation” under the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka, the Congress-ruled state that goes to poll early next year.
At least 13 Union ministers, five chief ministers and three youth leaders of the BJP will visit the southern state over the next 55 days seeking support for the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa.
“We expect more leaders to join the yatra, eventually,” a BJP leader said.
The saffron party’s president Amit Shah kicked off the Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivarthana Yathre from Bengaluru on November 2 and accused the Siddaramaiah-led government of having broken “all records” in corruption.
The BJP chief also slammed the state government for celebrating the birth anniversary of 18th-century ruler Tipu Sultan as “Tipu Jayanti” on November 10 and claimed that it was “vote bank politics”.
“The government is more interested in celebrating November 10 as Tipu Jayanti rather than celebrating Kannada Rajyotsava (state formation day) with grandeur,” he claimed.
The 84-day yatra will travel over 7500 km to cover all the 224 assembly constituencies across 30 districts in the state. It will end in Mysuru on January 25.
The party has accused the Siddaramaiah government of indulging in appeasement politics in Karnataka.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and transport minister Nitin Gadkari are among the prominent leaders who will take part in the yatra between now and December. Three Uttar Pradesh politicians – Uma Bharti, Yogi Adityanath, and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti – will add the “saffron tinge” to the BJP’s campaign.
Bharti and Adityanath, politicians who wear the saffron robe, have a strong association with Karnataka.
Bharti was booked for hoisting the tricolour at the disputed Idgah Maidan in Hubli district in 1994, an incident that led to riots. She had to resign as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister in 2004 after a local court issued a non-bailable warrant against her in this case.
Adityanath belongs to the Nath Panth, a non-Brahminical sect which traces its links to Mangaluru-based Kadali Mutt. Also the head priest of Gorakhnath Temple, Adityanath will join the yatra at Chikkamagaluru, about 100-km from Mangaluru.
Chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) are the other leaders who have been invited for the BJP’s yatra.
The BJP’s youth wing chief Poonam Mahajan, her predecessor Anurag Thakur, and Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde are among the young leaders roped in for the event.
First Published: Nov 06, 2017 23:32 IST