Union Minister Amit Shah asked the party leaders from the Old Mysuru region to ensure that BJP emerges as the “number one party” there.
Shah — who is on a visit to poll-bound Karnataka — asked this during a party meeting held late on Friday, 30 December, in the Old Mysuru region.
The BJP, considered to be weak in the Vokkaliga community-dominated Old Mysuru region, is focusing on this belt to gain a complete majority in the 2023 Assembly polls.
According to party sources, Shah has also ruled out the possibility of the BJP entering into an understanding with any other party, including the JD(S).
“For about three hours, Amit Shah held a meeting regarding the party organisation in the Old Mysuru region, the number of seats to win and the preparations for it. He spoke to everyone — ministers, ex-ministers, sitting MLAs, ex-MLAs and leaders, and gathered inputs from them,” Revenue Minister R Ashoka told reporters after the meeting late on Friday night.
“He (Shah) said the dominance of the JD(S) and the Congress in Old Mysuru should end and the BJP should emerge as the number one party. With this plan, he will once again come here next month on a visit,” Ashoka said, adding that the meeting will inspire the party’s leaders and cadres.
Top leaders attended meeting
The meeting was attended by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and the party’s general secretary in-charge Arun Singh among others.
Hitting the ground running in poll-bound Karnataka, Shah earlier in the day addressed a public meeting in Mandya, where he termed the Congress and the JD(S) “parivaarvadi” (dynastic) and “corrupt”, and urged the people of Old Mysuru region to support the BJP.
After the late-night meeting, BJP national general secretary CT Ravi said the strategies discussed cannot be shared with the media. Winning is important and Shah has given certain directions in this regard, he added.
“We will abide by them and making BJP the number one party in the Old Mysuru region is our priority,” he said.
Asserting that there is no question of entering into an understanding with anyone, Ravi said, “BJP winning is important.”
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Old Mysuru: Stronghold of JD(S), Congress
The Old Mysuru region is largely seen as a bastion of the JD(S), where the Congress is strong too, but the BJP is trying to make inroads. The region consists of districts like Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Tumakuru, Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar and Chikkaballapur, among others.
Among other engagements on Saturday, 31 December, Shah is scheduled to have a breakfast meeting with party leaders and then take part in the BJP’s booth presidents and booth-level agents’ convention at the Palace Ground in the evening.
He is also expected to meet Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji, the head pontiff of Adichunchanagiri Math, the party sources said. The influential Math in the old Mysuru region is highly regarded, especially by the Vokkaliga community.
Ravi had on Wednesday said the party would be giving special focus to the Old Mysuru region in the run-up to the assembly polls, as it has realised that without winning the confidence of the people in the region, it cannot get a majority in the state.
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