MYSURU: Keen on retaining both Nanjangud and Gundlupet assembly segments, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the eight-day campaign in Veerashaiva and Dalit dominated villages.
Siddaramaiah, branded as an ‘Ahinda' leader, visited Devanur Mutt to seek the Veerashaiva
seer's blessings and took out a road show to cut into the BJP vote bank.
The bypoll campaign has turned into a high- voltage battle as BJP state president and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa is camping in both the constituencies from more than a week along with several BJP leaders.
Fearing that the bypolls will be a trendsetter for the 2018 Assembly election, Siddaramaiah entered into the poll arena and also deputed more a dozen ministers for campaigning.
The chief minister has decided to campaign for four days each in both the constituencies. Siddaramaiah, who was given a rousing reception in Nanjangud, started campaigning from Gollur, an Uppara community-dominated village and toured Badanavalu, Devanur and Nagarale villages where Veerashaiva and dalit communities are in majority.
Feeling the pulse of caste-ridden constituency, Siddaramaiah did not not take the name of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa or dalit leader V Srinivasa Prasad in his address during the public function.
In bid to woo Muslims, the chief minister alleged that the BJP has started implementing its hidden agenda in Uttar Pradesh by banning slaughterhouses and sale of meat in a state were 85 per cent of the population is non-vegetarian.
He said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had opposed reservation for women.
Claiming that his government has increased the budget allocation for Muslims to Rs 2,700 crore including Rs 800 crore for laying concrete roads, he appealed to voters to exercise their franchise to defeat communal forces in the state. Siddaramaiah alleged that BJP has bribed had voters in the past and is trying the same in the bypolls.
Clarifying that the bypolls are not between two individuals, the CM said the polls are between communal and secular forces and urged people to support the government that believes in development.
He also said that the resignation of Prasad was unwarranted and has forced the bypolls.
Congress, BJP workers clash
The Congress and BJP workers in Nanjangud were involved in a clash and pelted stones at each other in Rajuru villagem ahead of actor Jaggesh's campaign. A few people including a hearing impaired woman Chinnamma were injured during the clash. The injured are being treated in Nanjangud hospital. Meanwhile, the police have stepped up security in villages falling under Ullahalli Police station limits.
Slogans against CM
Meanwhile, the BJP workers including Youths holding BJP flags raised slogans against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during his campaign in Badanavalu village. They termed Siddaramaiah 'anti-Dalit'. Siddaramaiah, along with other leaders, passed by, neglecting the protest. However, the cops swung into action and saw that the protesters were dispersed.