BJP leaders admit that former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had created a strong base for the party and its ‘Ram Rajya’ mantra. Now it seems that he is turning his focus to build a ‘Kalyan Rajya’ to attract minorities, especially Muslims.
According to Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) leaders, Yeddyurappa has decided to issue tickets to 30 Muslim leaders, including former minister Jabbar Khan Honnalli, who had deserted the Congress.
However Honnali’s followers and many Muslim leaders are suspicious of Yeddyurappa’s RSS connection. “If the KJP does not desert the RSS, we will not support it,” said a follower of Honnalli.
It is also learnt that some Muslim workers raised this question at a secret meeting in Hubli on Saturday night.
One of the attendees of the meeting told Express that MLCs Mohan Limbikai and Vijay Sankeshwar tried to answer the question by saying that Yeddyurappa is everybody’s leader and he had given maximum funds for minorities during his tenure. However, none of the leaders gave a clear picture of the BSY-RSS connection.
Meanwhile, Honnalli said that Yeddyurappa has assured him of delinking from the RSS. “During our meeting, Yeddyurappa said that he is not in favour of the construction of Ram Mandir and he is building the KJP on a secular base. He is a leader committed to social justice,” he added.
Mantra of Lingayats
Yeddyurappa’s new slogan ‘Kalyan Rajya’ (welfare state) is also considered as a mantra of the Lingayats. KKJP minority workers are questioning if this slogan focuses on Lingayats.
Meanwhile, many feel that the KJP’s minorities convention in Hubli on December 2 is a welcoming ceremony for Congress deserters like Jabbar Khan Honnalli and his supporters. Quoting MLC Limbikai’s statement, a KJP worker said that the party leaders are planing to celebrate Honnalli’s entry to the KJP in a grand manner. We also intend to show our affection for the minorities, he said.