The BJP in Karnataka will witness a major event tomorrow. Retired IAS officer K Shivram would join the party in the presence of Union home minister, Rajnath Singh. The event is expected to be a major one and the BJP is going to town with it. Shivram will join the party at a grand event to be held at the National College Grounds in Bengaluru on Friday evening.
While the BJP hopes to capitalise on the SC votes through Shivram, this is also being seen as a move to checkmate K S Eshwarappa who is trying to project himself as a leader of the backward community. The BJP says that the role of Shivram in the party would be to expand the party's base among the Dalits and backward community.
BJP insiders say that this was a move initiated by Karnataka BJP Chief, B S Yeddyurappa. It is a well known fact that the relation between Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa is nothing to tom-tom about. With Eshwarappa trying to be the champion of the Dalit cause, the move to bring in Shivram is being seen as a masterstroke by Yeddyurappa.
For Shivram this is not the first tryst with politics. Hailing from the Chalasani (SC) community he had fought an unsuccessful election on a JD(S) ticket from the Vijayapura constituency. He was also part of the campaign for G Parameshwar of the Congress. In the last elections he had led a campaign for a Dalit Chief Minister.
By inducting Shivram, it is clear that the BJP is trying to focus on the votes from the backward community. Shivram has a good reach in the district and taluk levels and this is likely to help the party in the next elections.
The BJP however downplays the rift between Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa. This is not about sidelining or checkmating Eshwarappa they say. We want to focus on the SC/ST votes and hence felt that Shivram would be a good choice, a BJP leaders said.