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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

Yogi Adityanath to resume BJP campaign in Karnataka

The dust storm in Uttar Pradesh had forced chief minister Yogi Adityanath to fly out of Karnataka on May 4 while his original plan was to stay on till May 6.

india Updated: May 07, 2018 13:24 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath meets Rambhapuri Swamiji during his visit to Balehonur near Chikmagalur in Karnataka.
Yogi Adityanath meets Rambhapuri Swamiji during his visit to Balehonur near Chikmagalur in Karnataka.(PTI File Photo)

Forced to return home from the campaign trail in Karnataka following large scale death and destruction in Uttar Pradesh last week in a severe dust storm, chief minister Yogi Adityanath will resume the final leg of his campaign in the Congress-ruled southern state from Monday.

Adityanath has back-to-back public meetings lined up till Tuesday. Party strategists say Adityanath’s campaign could be extended till Thursday as the BJP pulls out all stops to regain power in Karnataka.

If that happens, Adityanath will be campaigning in Karnataka till May 10, the last day of the campaign before polling on May 12.

“There are many young people in Karnataka who are hooked on to nationalism and take great pride in Hindutva. That’s why they are coming to Yogiji’s public meetings in large number,” Yarrappa Karrari, coordinator of Adityanath’s four public meetings in Belgaum rural region, told HT on phone.

Adityanath’s campaign on Monday is scheduled to start with a visit to a Mutt and meeting with saints in Bhalki in Bidar district soon after landing there in a special plane. After attending his first public meeting in Bidar, Adityanath is scheduled to visit the famous Veerabhadrahwara temple in Humanabad, a popular pilgrimage center.

Veerbhadra, who as per a Hindu belief was created by an angry Shiva to destroy the yagna of King Daksha after his wife ‘Sati’, upset over Shiva’s humiliation by her father Daksha, had immolated herself. Veerbhadra has great following in the South and Yogi’s temple visit has been scheduled to play up the Hindutva appeal, party leaders suggest. RP Singh, co-incharge of national programmes and meetings said that on an average Yogi would have about 5 public meetings lined up for the next few days.

He also has several public meetings lined up in Dakshin Kannada and Uttara Kannada that have several spiritual and pilgrimage centres. The areas, along the Arabian Sea coastline, where Adityanath’s public meetings have been planned have strong presence of RSS and other right wing groups as the BJP plans to use the appeal of a monk to connect with those religiously inclined, a BJP leader said. The party has already decided to increase the number of Modi rallies in Karnataka, party leaders said.

“When he was here campaigning a few days back, he had described the Congress as a party with ‘jihadi’ mindset. The narrative would grow further,” a BJP leader who did not wish to be named said underlining the UP CM’s importance in BJP’s scheme of things in Karanataka.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had criticised Adityanath for remaining in Karnataka even after his own state was hit by the storm. The calamity forced the UP CM to fly out of Karnataka on May 4 while his original plan was to stay on till May 6.