(G.N.S) Dt. 23
It will be the mutt circuit for BJP national president Amit Shah, who will be back in Karnataka next week. Shah is hoping to garner support among Dalits and Lingayats.
With this visit, Shah hopes to counter action any traction among the Hindu community by AICC president Rahul Gandhi visiting temples in the state, and also the impact of the state cabinet decision to accord minority status to Lingayats. The BJP national president will embark on a Dalit and Lingayat mutt tour on March 26 and 27.
While the tour itinerary is still being given final touches by the BJP, Shah has confirmed his visit to a prominent Dalit community mutt, the Madara Chennaiah mutt in Chitradurga.
Party sources said Shah’s intention is to woo the Chennaiah mutt seer and his followers, who are primarily from the Madiga sub-sect of Dalits, and break the Ahinda votebank of CM Siddaramaiah, ahead of the 2018 elections.
“He is scheduled to meet several Dalit leaders at the mutt and discusss various issues, including perhaps, the demand for internal reservation sought by the Madigas,” said a party worker. He will also make a whirlwind tour of Siddaganga mutt in Tumakuru and Bekkinakal mutt on March 26, and the Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihamath (Sirigere mutt) and Muruga Rajendra mutt on March 27, to counter the effect of the minority status on Lingayats. Shah is scheduled to have lunch at Sirigere mutt on March 27.
In other politically astute stopovers, the BJP national president will visit Kuppahalli at the memorial of Karnataka’s rashtrakavi Kuvempu, an icon of the Vokkaliga community.
UNITED BJP SHOW
Shah’s two-day visit will also see him send out a message of a united front in the BJP by having dinner with rival leaders K S Eshwarappa and B S Yeddyurappa. The dinner has been organized in Shivamogga, the home district of both the leaders. Shah will also take part in the Mushtidanya Sangrahan Abihyaan (‘fistful of foodgrains’ campaign) in the village of Doddabathi, 9km from Davanagere.
(G.N.S) Dt. 23