The BJP is going to allure several Vokkaliga leaders from ”panchayat to Parliament” into its fold from Karnataka’s Old Mysuru region ahead of the Assembly polls in the southern state due later this year, party leaders said on Sunday.
They said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already been working on the ground and reaching out to like-minded people in the run-up to the election.
BJP’s Karnataka in-charge Arun Singh said the saffron party will win a record number of seats from the region, where it has been working on the ground and engaging in booth-level activities for quite some time.
”There are seven Vokkaliga ministers in the Karnataka government. The community has also been represented at the Centre. There is space for all communities in the BJP. We believe in the philosophy of ’Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’,” Singh, a general secretary of the party, said.
Echoing similar sentiments, another BJP general secretary CT Ravi said the party has been working on a two-pronged strategy for the Old Mysuru region.
”We have activated our teams on the ground, from page committees to the mandal level, and invited like-minded Vokkaliga leaders from panchayat to Parliament into the party-fold,” Ravi, an MLA in the southern state, said.
Both Singh and Ravi asserted that the BJP should not be seen as a community-specific party, saying it believes in ”cultural nationalism” and ”politics of development”.
The BJP has traditionally been seen as a relatively weaker force in the Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru region. There are 59 Assembly seats in the region and the party won only nine of those in the 2018 Assembly polls.
Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah addressed a major rally at Mandya in the Old Mysuru region on Saturday.
Vokkaligas account for at least 15 per cent of Karnataka’s population and are seen as the second-most influential vote bank in the state after the Lingayats.
The region consists of districts such as Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Tumakuru, Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar and Chikkaballapur. PTI JTR RC
With inputs from News18