MYSURU: If the huge turnout at an election meeting and march organised by BJP leaders on Sunday is any indication, the Dalit and Veerashaiva communities have got past the bitter memories of the 1993 caste clashes in Badanavalu village.
The presence of a large number of Dalits and Veerashaivas surprised the leaders of other political parties. BJP state president Yeddyurappa and party candidate Srinivasa Prasad called for a harmony march of both the communities from Badanavalu village.
Though the divide between the communities had made the then government set up a police station in the village and step up policing here for a few years, people from both the communities congregated at the rally to hear out their leaders. Surprisingly, there were no policemen on duty in the sensitive village.
Many hailed former minister Shobha Karandlaje for the success of the meeting who held talks with leaders of both the communities in the village which had witnessed horrifying caste clashes. She said Badanavalu, which was visited by Gandhiji in 1918, has not seen much development works. She said the village was neglected by the government and assured the BJP will take up lift irrigation projects if it comes to power in 2018.
Though the Congress has made a futile attempt to blame Srinivasa Prasad for the violence, the BJP which was keen on countering the charges, continued its second leg of tour in Veerashaiva, Dalit and Uppara dominated panchayats of the taluk. Villagers and leaders from both the communities sprang a surprise as they came on a platform to back both Yeddyurappa and Prasad, sources said.
Yeddyurappa, Prasad, former ministers V Somanna and Karandlaje also campaigned in Vokkaliga dominated Devarasanahalli panchayat with an attempt to woo Vokkaligas. There was a good turnout of Muslims, particularly youths, at the BJP meet.
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