As the BJP prepares for the 2023 Assembly elections in Karnataka, with special focus on the Old Mysuru region, where the party is weak, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hit the ground running in the poll-bound state with a visit to Mandya on Friday.
Shah, who landed in Bengaluru on Thursday night, will be visiting the Old Mysuru region’s Mandya and Devanahalli on December 30 and 31, where he will be attending various events and meetings.
Other than official engagements, he will also be engaging in party meetings, where he is expected to review poll preparedness of the BJP and discuss strategy with leaders and booth level workers.
On his arrival in Bengaluru last night, Shah was received by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, several of his cabinet colleagues, and state BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel.
He will be in Mandya later in the day today, where he will inaugurate a mega dairy and address a public meeting there.
Mandya in Old Mysuru region is a Vokkaliga community dominated district, largely seen as a bastion of JD(S), where the Congress too is strong, and the BJP is trying to make inroads.
BJP National General Secretary C T Ravi on Wednesday had said his party will be giving special focus to the Old Mysuru region in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls in Karnataka, as the party has realised that without winning the confidence of people in the region, it cannot get a majority.
He said the BJP will go before the people in the Vokkaliga-dominated region where it is perceived as weak, with development and Hindutva as the agenda.
The BJP has been making consistent efforts to make inroads into constituencies or regions where it is not strong, especially in the old Mysuru region, aimed at reaping political dividends.
In the 2018 polls, the BJP managed to win one seat in Hassan; later in the high-voltage 2019 by-polls, it managed to win the K R Pet seat, its first victory in Mandya district and also won Chikkballapur, another first.
Creating history of sorts, the party bagged the Sira Assembly segment in Tumakuru district for the first time in November, 2020 by-polls.
After the engagements in Mandya, Shah will be back in Bengaluru to take part in a Cooperative convention at the Palace Grounds here. Following this, he is scheduled to attend a BJP meeting.
On December 31, the Home Minister is scheduled to have a breakfast meeting with party leaders, after which he will be laying the foundation stone for Central Intelligence Training Institute and Inaugurate ITBP’s residential and non-residential complexes. He will also be visiting the Souharda Sahakari Federation. Thereafter, he is expected to attend BJP’s booth presidents and booth level agents convention at the Palace Ground, before leaving for Delhi.
The visit has gained significance amid the wait for expansion or reshuffle for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led cabinet and reservation demand by various communities in the state.
The BJP, which aims to come back to power by breaking nearly four-decade jinx of no party in government retaining power in the state (since 1985), has set a target of winning minimum 150 of the total 224 seats in the Assembly. The party is hoping to energise the cadres and instill confidence among them with Shah’s visit.
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