With the Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections just a few days away, the Bharatiya Janata Party is making all possible efforts to gain support in the poll-bound state. BJP national president Amit Shah is on a two-day visit to the state and will be visiting several mutts associated with the Lingayat and Dalit communities.
Here are 10 quick facts about Amit Shah's visit:
- Shah's visit to the Lingayat mutts comes a few days after Congress government's notification to give 'minority religion' status to "Lingayat and Veerashaiva-Lingayats [believers of Basava Tatva]."
- To ensure that the votes from the Lingayat community don't go to Congress, Shah will be reaching out to them to ensure that they continue to support the BJP.
"We think our party president will talk to the mutt heads and convince them to continue supporting us and not the Congress," a Karnataka BJP leader told Economic Times.
- The visit is being considered a damage control attempt by Karnataka's BJP unit.
"Shah ji's visit could also be a move to take suggestions from the pontiffs on whether the Centre should accept the Karnataka government's recommendation, reject it or just put it on the backburner," the Karnataka BJP leader added.
- Shah visited Shivakumara Swamy of Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru district. Shivakumara Swamy had welcomed the Congress decision of granting minority status to the Lingayats.
- Shah sought the blessings of the 110-year-old seer.
Today I had the good fortune to seek blessings from the 'Walking God' Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddhaganga Mutt, Tumakuru. His tireless work even at his advanced age is inspiring. His life is a living lesson and guiding light for all of us. pic.twitter.com/QVDYOSgpAE— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 26, 2018
- Shah will be visiting the Sirigere Mutt and the Murugha Mutt in Chitradurga, which played a crucial role in seeking the minority status.
- The national BJP president will also visit the mutts in Shivamogga district.
"He will hold a meeting with around 28 junior pontiffs in Bekinkal mutt of Shivamogga rural district (the home district of party state president and Lingayat leader B S Yeddyurappa) to discuss issues," the BJP leader said.
- Shah is also scheduled to reach out to other backward communities like Madara Chennaiah mutt, which has been traditionally associated with Dalits.
- Besides trying to gain on the Lingayats and Dalits vote bank, Shah will also address farmers and traders.
- He will also visit the memorial of Kannada novelist, poet, and playwright Kuvempu in Shivamogga.