BENGALURU: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to extend his ‘soft Hindutva’ strategy, which he tried with reasonable success in Gujarat, in Karnataka too. Rahul is expected to visit the state in the third week of January to ramp up the party’s poll preparations.
Rahul is set to start his Karnataka sojourn with a visit to Sringeri Sharada Peetha in Chikkamagaluru district on January 20. The young leader, who has brought new dynamism into the rank and file after the party’s good showing in Gujarat, is said to be keen to visit all major temples and mutts in the state as part of the larger strategy to undermine BJP’s core strength.
Energy minister and Congress Campaign Committee chairman D K Shivakumar tried to play down the significance of Rahul’s visit to Sringeri and said, “The Nehru family has a long association with Sringeri. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used to visit Sringeri frequently. There is nothing special about Rahul Gandi’s visit to Sringeir Mutt.”
The Siddaramaiah’s government calibrated strategy to get separate religion status for Lingayat community is already causing some concerns for BJP, which is banking heavily on its Veerashaiva-Lingayat vote bank. The party leadership in the state is bullish on the poll dividends from Rahul’s soft Hindutva strategy with temple rounds.
Replying to a question about Chennapatna MLA C P Yogeshwar boosting BJP’s prospects in the region in the forthcoming assembly election, Shivakumar said “it is an impossible proposition.”