Bengaluru: Intensifying its campaign in poll-bound Karnataka which will see assembly election in a few months, the ruling BJP launched its nine-day ‘Vijaya Sankalpa Yatra’ in the state on Saturday.
The BJP kick-started its aggressive poll campaign from two important Lingayat Maths – Jnana Yogashrama in north Karnataka and Siddaganga Math in Tumakuru in south Karnataka, apparently to woo the state’s dominant Lingayat community, which Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor B S Yediyurappa belong to.
The day chosen for this campaign was also significant. On this day in 2019, Shivakumar Swamiji of Siddaganga Math, who had earned the reputation of ‘Walking God’ for his philanthropic work, had passed away at the age of 111.
BJP national president J P Nadda flew down to Vijayapura in north Karnataka bordering Maharashtra and went to the Jnanayogashrama to pay his obeisance to Sri Siddheshwar Swamiji, who passed away recently. The saint is known by his followers as ‘Jnanayogi’ for his noble teachings.
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Leading the campaign, Nadda gave a clarion call to BJP workers to spread the ‘development story’ of Karnataka achieved in the last four years under saffron party rule.
”Development, law and order, transparency, government and holistic development means BJP while anti-people, corruption, commission, casteism and division means Congress,” Nadda told the cheering crowd in Vijayapura. Reiterating the BJP’s popular mantra ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, the BJP president said Karnataka is at the forefront of realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project Digital India programme.
He also said the development India has seen in the last eight years was remarkable.
”In December, 782 crore digital transactions through the UPI had happened worth Rs 13 lakh crore. India accounts for 40 per cent of UPI transactions world over,” Nadda said. He also said that in 2014, India had laid only 350 km of optical fibre cables (OFC), which increased to 2.78 lakh km by end of 2022.
Nadda said other parties stand for ”dynastic politics, casteism and regionalism” whereas BJP believes in taking everyone along.
Meanwhile in Tumakuru, Chief Minister Bommai blew the election bugle from Siddaganga Math after paying respect to Shivakumar Swamiji, who passed away four years ago on this day.
Addressing reporters, Bommai said the BJP is set to win more than 130 seats and get a clear majority. The Karnataka Assembly has 224 members.
The Chief Minister launched the door-to-door campaign and pasted BJP posters in the houses of party supporters.
BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel launched the yatra from Bengaluru.