Locals take a backseat as national leaders set to lead BJP campaign for Karnataka Assembly polls

The yatra is set to be launched from Chamarajnagar, Kittur, Bidar and Devanahalli in the first week of March.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Feb 27, 2023 | 2:39 PM Updated Apr 25, 2023 | 3:27 PM

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As the Karnataka Assembly polls 2023 draw closer, the local leadership of the BJP is taking a backseat and the national leaders of the party are all set to lead the campaign.

While the poll campaigns of the Congress and the JD(S) continue to be led by state leaders of the parties, the BJP is all set to see a beeline of national leaders taking the lead on the campaign trail.

The first in a series of campaigns powered by the national leaders of the BJP is set to begin with the launch of ‘Vijay Sankalpa Yatra’ from four different regions in the poll-bound state from 1 March.

The yatra is set to be launched from Chamarajnagar in the old-Mysuru region, Kittur in Belagavi, Bidar in Kalaburagi, and Devanahalli in Bengaluru.

The yatra will be commenced from all four places with the presence of BJP national leaders, including president Jagat Prakash Nadda, and Union Ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh.

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‘Vijay Sankalpa Yatra’

The ‘Vijay Sankalpa Yatra’ is being held at a large scale to woo the voters ahead of the Assembly polls. The yatra from Mahadeshwara Betta in Honnuru taluka of Chamarajanagar will kick-start on 1 March and will be inaugurated by JP Nadda.

The yatra from Nandagad at Kittur in Belagavi on 2 March, will be spearheaded by Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh.

The third yatra, to be launched from Anubhava Mantapa at Basavakalyan in Bidar, on 3 March, will be led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. On the same day, he will inaugurate the yatra at Devanahalli in Bengaluru.

The yatra — which will touch all 224 Assembly segments in the 31 districts of the state over 20 days — will cover over 8,000 km.

It is aimed at reaching over four crore people by holding around 80 public rallies, 75 public meetings and 150 road shows across the state.

Throughout the yatra, other national leaders of the BJP, including Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Anurag Thakur, are expected to participate.

This yatra is likely to conclude with a mega rally at Davanagere on 25 March.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be taking part in the last yatra.

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Four core teams for Yatra

The party high command has formed four core teams comprising senior leaders from the respective regions to oversee the Vijay Sankalpa Yatra.

BJP leaders including Ministers V Somanna, KC Narayana Gowda, V Sunil Kumar and Araga Jnanendra, are part of the old-Mysuru region team.

Ministers Govind Karjol, CC Patil, Murugesh Nirani, Shashikala Jolle, and other leaders like Laxman Savadi, and Ramesh Jarkiholi are part of the Belagavi region team.

Union Minister Bhagwant Khuba and state Ministers Prabhu Chauhan, Halappa Achar, and B Sriramulu are part of the Kalaburagi region team. Ministers R Ashok, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, ST Somashekhar, Dr K Sudhakar and Munirathna are part of the Bengaluru region team.

Senior BJP leaders like Parliamentary Board member BS Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Shobha Karandlaje, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, and BJP national general secretary CT Ravi will take part in all the four yatras.

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‘Part of poll campaigning’

“This yatra is a part of the poll campaign. The party will stress the achievements of the Central and state governments throughout this yatra. We will also collect ideas and suggestions from the common man for the party’s manifesto for 2023 Assembly polls,” BJP leader and former MLC Arun Shahpur, who is a convenor for the Belagavi region, told South First.

“The manifesto is being prepared sector-wise, like agriculture and industrial sectors, and constituency-wise.

“However, the party will neither release a manifesto nor announce candidates for any segment in this over 8,000 km yatra,” he said.

“Around 50 national leaders, including Karnataka election in-charges and Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Mansukh Mandaviya will take part in this 20-day yatra, which will be held in all the 224 Assembly seats before the announcement of the Assembly polls,” added Shahpur.

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‘To strengthen the party’

“The main aim of this yatra is to strengthen the party base at the grassroots and ensure it gets a complete majority. The party has never got a majority in any of the previous Assembly polls; we fell short by three seats in 2008 and nine seats in 2018,” Shahpur said.

“The party has set a target of winning around 140 Assembly seats in the upcoming polls. The party wants to come to power independently without seeking an alliance with any other parties,” elaborated Shahpur.

Previously, Karnataka’s BJP unit launched a ‘Jana Sankalpa Yatra’ in October 2022. This yatra was focused on Dalits and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

‘Vijay Sankalpa Abhiyan’ was also carried out in January, which was aimed at presenting the achievements of the central and state governments to the common people.

Meanwhile, Congress and JD(S) are carrying out ‘Prajadhwani Yatra’ and ‘Pancharatna Yatra’, respectively, led by the state leadership of the parties.