BENGALURU: With an aim to give the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a much-needed boost in the
Old Mysuru region, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to address a rally in Mandya on Saturday. A star campaigner of the party, Shah is expected to present a report card of the BJP’s achievements, at the event.
The Union minister will be touring the IT capital Bengaluru and cultural capital Mysuru, to motivate the rank and file of the party to work hard for the forthcoming Assembly polls. According to sources, the plan is to checkmate senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah in the Old Mysuru region where Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of the late cine star Ambareesh, is an independent MP.
Srirangapatna, the erstwhile capital of Mysuru during Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, has been simmering over a communal issue after Hindu outfits claimed rights for worship in Jamia Masjid. It is likely to be an issue in the elections, an analyst observed.
The publicity material of the BJP already shows Sumalatha alongside Amit Shah. Sumalatha had broken into the JD(S) citadel Mandya by defeating former CM H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Former Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Thursday said that the BJP is aiming to win 89 seats in the belt as part of the BJP’s 150+ mission for the 2023 polls. “We have taken this as a challenge and more leaders from other parties have been joining the party”, he claimed.
On Sunday, Shah will launch the BJP’s ‘Booth Vijaya Campaign’ in Bengaluru with an aim to achieve 100 per cent polling in booths. Mandya Member of Parliament Sumalatha’s supporter Indavalu Sacchidananda is likely to be the BJP’s candidate in the 2023 polls. C Narayana Gowda representing the KR Pete Assembly constituency is already a minister after winning the bypoll after switching to the BJP from the JD(S).
Shah, cm likely to talk cabinet expansion
With Union Home Minister Amit Shah arriving in Karnataka on a two-day tour to supervise the party’s preparations for the 2023 assembly polls, speculation is rife over Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s cabinet expansion. Shah and Bommai are slated to discuss the repercussions of expanding the cabinet, sources said.
Former ministers K S Eshwarappa and Ramesh Jarkhiholi, who have been claiming they have got a clean chit, are strong contenders and have to prove themselves to their electorates.
“Only they are expected to get berths if expansion takes place after Shah returns to the capital,” a source said. If Bommai tries to fill all six vacancies, it may backfire as some leaders have been claiming berths on caste basis.
“If Yogishwara is given Vokkaliga quota, Lingayats may also demand that quota is filled to compensate for the loss of late Umesh Katti,” a BJP source said. Eshwarappa, who was in his home town Shivamogga, said that he will not be meeting Amit Shah during the latter’s visit.