Former minister B Sriramulu, who broke away from the BJP and successfully contested from the Bellary Rural Assembly seat as an Independent candidate last year, announced the launch of his regional political outfit ‘BSR Congress’ at the end of his 54-day padayatra from Basavakalyana to Bangalore on Sunday.
Addressing a cheering crowd at the party workers’ conference, Sriramulu said his party would fight for the causes of the poor, working and farmers classes, and would contest all 224 Assembly seats in the state and come to power in the next elections.
The ST leader started the 921-km padayatra from Bidar district on April 24, which culminated at the Freedom Park here.
Launching the party’s membership drive on Sunday, freedom fighter and former legislator Vidhyadhar Guruji said the BSR Congress would usher in a new era in Karnataka’s political history.
Sriramulu, who is the president of the new outfit, said he would tour the state soon to strengthen his party by registering over 10 lakh members.
Launching a blistering attack on both the Congress and BJP, Sriramulu vowed to root out both the parties from the state.
Promising an end to the “misrule” in the state, Sriramulu said, “There is no high command for me. If there is any, it is the people.”
Referring to the drought situation in the state, he said, “Both the state and Central governments are only involved in blame game”.
“Had the state taken sincere measures to mitigate the plight of the people, I would not have taken the decision to launch the padayatra,” he added.
A visibly exhausted Sriramulu said the Election Commission of India had recognised his party. Promising to transfer the ownership of the unauthorised cultivated land to the farmers if voted to power, Sriramulu vowed to exert pressure on the Centre to bring an amendment to Article 371 of the Constitution to confer special status to the most backward regions of the state.
His other promises included distribution of rice at `2 per kg, free education to children from the working classes, remunerative prices for farm products, potable water at doorsteps of all houses, all-weather roads to all villages and free access to healthcare facilities.
Surprisingly, Sanna Fakirappa, J Shantha — both BJP MPs — and BJP MLAs Somashekharappa Reddy, Suresh Babu and Nagendra, and MLC Mrithyunjaya Jinaga addressed the gathering, and also announced that they would contest the next elections from the new party party tickets.
Actor Rakshitha Prem, former MP Virupakshappa and BC leader C S Dwarakanath were also present on the occasion.