MYSURU: Scarcely has National BJP President JP Nadda called on the Karnataka unit to colour Old Mysuru saffron, than Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is on the job, starting the spadework to make inroads into the Congress-JDS bastion and Vokkaliga turf.
He is playing the native card in Mandya, keen to win over lakhs of farmers in the sugar bowl of Karnataka. With three government-run sugar factories — Mysugar, Pandavapura Cooperative Sugar Factory and Sriram Cooperative Sugar Factory in KR Nagar — lying defunct, Yediyurappa has seized the opportunity to reach out to the farming community by reviving the factories.
He managed to overcome opposition and the cabinet decided to lease out the factories to private players. Incidentally, BJP MLA Murugesh Nirani, a Yediyurappa loyalist, was awarded the bid for the Pandavapura and Sriram factories. The Pandavapura factory has resumed crushing of cane, bringing relief to farmers in the Pandavapura-Srirangapatna belt. New machinery is to be installed in Sriram factory in a year.Yediyurappa also decided to commission Mysugar, and put an end to cane growers’ issues.With these measures, he wants to ensure that rival parties are left with no core issues to raise, and the wind changes in the BJP’s favour.
BJP leader Shivanna said the decision on factories will definitely have political implications in the days to come, besides making the JDS and Congress villains in the eyes of farmers. The BJP has also held a series of meetings on ways to capture former CM Siddaramaiah’s turf Mysuru and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s Hassan, as both leaders are said to be losing political clout.