BENGALURU: JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy, who has embarked on the Pancharatna Yatra to better party’s chances in the 2023 Assembly polls, is trying to woo Muslims and Dalits by planning to camp in their localities and dine with them in the Old Mysuru region, where the party has a strong base.
Having CM Ibrahim as state party president will only help him attract Muslim voters. “Why cannot Ibrahim become a chief minister? Is he untouchable,” he had asked, triggering a controversy. But he later clarified, saying his intention was not to hurt the feelings of Dalits and to pacify the Dalit community, he will now stay at Dalit-dominant Dibburu area of Tumakuru on Thursday. “He will have breakfast at the house of JDS SC wing city president DN Bhyresh,” said JDS leader Nagaraj. On Wednesday, he visited the Muslim-dominated Lakkuru at Thyamagondlu in the Nelamangala constituency in Bengaluru Rural.
“Vokkaligas stand by JDS as they have a sense of belonging and hold party patriarch HD Deve Gowda in high esteem. Kumaraswamy is now on a mission to keep the Muslim and Dalit voters with the party. JDS won seven seats, including Nelamangala and Malavalli that are reserved for SCs, in 2018,” said a JDS leader.
As Mallikarjun Kharge, a Dalit stalwart, has been elevated as AICC president, JDS has a task at hand to ensure that its traditional Dalit voters stay with the party, he said. “Kharge cannot personally meet the Dalit community, while Kumaraswamy can interact with them which will have a better impact,” he added.