BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday began his two-day visit to Mysuru-Chamarajanagar-Mandya-Ramanagaram belt in Old Mysore region with a visit to Suttur Mutt. Later, he arrived at the Mysore Palace to meet the erstwhile royal family.
The BJP president is in the state as part of his party' efforts to win back the Lingayat vote bank ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections.
"Took blessings of Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji of Sri Suttur Math in Mysuru. Swami ji has made significant efforts towards spreading the values of Indian culture & tradition worldwide, Shah tweeted.
"I also admire Matha's role in providing education to the poor in rural Karnataka," he wrote.
Suttur Mutt is a "power centre" given the influence it wields over the Lingayat/Veerashaiva community. It runs over 400 educational institutions, and the image of the present seer, Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswami, as a spiritual leader transcends the Lingayat community and extends beyond the region.
He met Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the head of the family, and his mother Pramoda Devi Wadiyar and wife Trishika Kumari Devi.
Shah tweeted that he had "a wonderful meeting with Maharaja Yaduveer, Rajamatha Pramoda and Maharani Trishika of the royal family of Mysuru".
Had a wonderful meeting with Maharaja Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, Rajamatha Pramoda Devi Wadiyar and Maharani Trishika Kumari Devi of the Royal Family of Mysuru. pic.twitter.com/CdMsGaWxX8— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 30, 2018
It was nice to see Yuvraj Adyaveer Narasimha Wadiyar too! pic.twitter.com/nEhox0bAIN— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 30, 2018
Addressing the reporters he said" it would catch hold of murderers of his party activists even if they hide in the abyss. He said over 24 workers have been killed and the police have taken no action against the killers.
"They are roaming scot-free. They are being allowed to commit more murders. The Siddaramaiah government's end is nearing and when the BJP forms the government, we will track the culprits from the abyss," he said.
Referring to his recent slip of a tongue, Amit Shah said that he may have slipped up between Siddaramaiah and Yeddyurappa, but the people of Karnataka will not make that mistake.
"In a slip of tongue, I said that Yeddyurappa government is corrupt instead of Siddaramaiah's, and the entire Congress party started to rejoice I might have made a mistake," Shah said before delivering the denouement: "The people of Karnataka will not [make a mistake]."
Meanwhile, disturbance at BJP President Amit Shah's interaction with Dalit leaders at Rajendra Kalamandira in Mysur. Slogans were raised against Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde over his remarks on the constitution.
#WATCH Disturbance at BJP President Amit Shah's interaction with Dalit leaders at Rajendra Kalamandira in Mysuru after slogans were raised against Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde over his remarks on the constitution. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/33BQsMz8z1— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2018
However, Shah disowned himself from the controversial remarks and said that neither he nor the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has anything to do with Hegde's statements. Hegde had said: "The Constitution needs to be changed from time to time and we have come for that...those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity."
As part of his "Karunada Jagruti Yatre", Shah will tour Mysuru, Chamarajanagara, Mandya and Ramanagara districts on March 30 and 31.
He will also visit the famous Nanjanagudu Srikanteshwara and the Melukote Cheluvanarayanaswamy temples.
He will also interact with organic farmers and women, take part in ST convention, visit Channapatna Craft Park and interact with silk growers and silk industry.
This is the fourth leg of Amit Shah's tour in the state. He has already covered parts of coastal and Malnad, north, and central regions of the state.
Out of the total 26 seats in the four districts, considered as the Vokkaliga heartland, BJP did not win even a single seat during the 2013 Assembly elections.
Moreover, the region is the home turf of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who hails from Mysuru.
Former Chief Minister and state JD(S) chief H D Kumaraswamy and senior minister D K Shivakumar enjoy considerable influence in the region.
Interestingly, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too is camping in Mysuru till April 2 and will take part in the campaign activities there.
The Election Commission had announced a single-phase election on May 12 for the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|