Bengaluru: After a cow yagna, BJP’s latest poll strategy in Karnataka is to spend a night at a slum in the election-bound state. The party’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa has ordered his colleagues across the state to spend one night at a slum on Saturday while he will himself pitch a tent at a slum in Gandhinagara Assembly seat in Bengaluru.
Top BJP leaders from Bengaluru, former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka and Bengaluru Central MP P C Mohan would also spend the night at the same slum along with Yeddyurappa.
Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, Jagadish Shettar will go to Hubli in north Karnataka to do the same, while another top leader of the party, K S Eshwarappa will be sharing dinner with slum dwellers in his hometown Shimoga. Firebrand BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje will sleep at a slum in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s home town, Mysore.
According to state BJP leaders, there are over 70 lakh slum dwellers in Karnataka and the party promises to build at least 8 lakh houses for them before 2020.
Speaking to News18, Yeddyurappa alleged that the Congress wants to keep the poor in slums for votes, while his party wants to relocate them to better places.
He said, “Congress is least interested in eradicating poverty. They think that keeping the people poor, helps them. Even after 70 years of Independence, these people are still living in the slums. It shows Congress’ concern for poorest of the poor”.
Yeddyurappa dismissed the charges that it is an election gimmick and will not actually help the slum dwellers. Last year, Yeddyurappa had shared a meal with the Dalits during his campaign.
Dinesh Gundurao, KPCC working president and four-time Congress MLA from Gandhinagara — where Yeddyurappa will be spending his ‘slum night’ — dubbed the move as yet another gimmick.
Speaking to News18, Gundurao said, “Yeddyurappa and others are spending just one night at the slums. It makes no difference to the slum dwellers. If they are really serious about the plight of the poor, they should spend at least ten days there. Just coming and going won’t help”.
From BJP’s ‘Cow Yagna’ to a night out at slums, the Karnataka Assembly elections are getting interesting.