BJP puts off Janotsava to Saturday after Umesh Katti's sudden demise

Decision due to 3-day mourning after minister Katti passes away; Nadda to attend

Published: 08th September 2022 05:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2022 05:36 AM   |  A+A-

Umesh Katti

By Express News Service

BENGALURU/KOLAR: BJP’s Janotsava, a public rally to showcase its government’s three years of achievements, including Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s one year in the office that was slated to be celebrated at Doddaballapur on Thursday, has been postponed to Saturday following the sudden death of Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti on Tuesday.

The event was crucial for BJP in the runup to the 2023 Assembly polls as party workers from Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru, Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts in the Old Mysuru region were expected to attend. Some party high command leaders too are expected to take part to send out a message to the people and also opposition parties.

Since a three-day state mourning was declared over Katti’s demise, the event had to be postponed. Bommai reportedly took the decision on board a special flight to Belagavi, to attend Katti’s funeral, after consulting his cabinet colleagues. Former chief minister BS Yediyurappa and the party high command had also suggested that it be postponed, sources said.

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday morning took potshots at the government for declaring just one day of state mourning, though the norm is three days for the demise of a sitting minister. 

This is the second time that the rally is being cancelled. First, it was scheduled to be held on July 28 but was cancelled at the last minute after the death of BJP Yuva Morcha member Praveen Nettaru in Sullia. All the arrangements went waste, but the party was firm on holding it in Doddaballapur on Thursday. It was to be the first in a series of such rallies across the state. BJP national president JP Nadda, who was scheduled to take part, is now attending the Sunday rally, the sources added. 

Another prominent leader who was to attend, party national general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh, arrived in Bengaluru on Wednesday evening. He will now take stock of the situation by meeting party office-bearers, including state party president Nalinkumar Kateel, the sources said. Horticulture Minister N Munirathna and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar have taken the initiative to make the event a success, but it has been deferred twice. 

Some BJP ticket aspirants had also funded the arrangements, including the food and transport of participants. Now it has become a challenge for the organisers to mobilise the masses for the Sunday event due to various factors including rain. “Last time when the event got cancelled, private bus operators were unhappy as they were not paid full,” remarked a leader.


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