Preparations for 2023 Karnataka elections, BJP strives to lure Dalit voters

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An incident involving a group of Dalit labourers who were reportedly attacked and kept hostage at a Karnataka estate was brought up by Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s visit.

Preparations for 2023 Karnataka elections, BJP strives to lure Dalit voters
Image courtesy – Twitter @BSBommai

While the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra reached some of the state’s most backward regions, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday joined a Dalit family for breakfast in Hospet. This was the ruling BJP’s effort to attract Dalits.

Along with the local MLA and minister of tourism, Anand Singh, Bommai, and Yediyurappa paid a visit to the Vijayanagar district residence of Hirala Kollarappa. In Hospet, Bommai said, “The BJP’s goal is the uplift of the last man in society.”

Opposition Attacks

The AICC General Secretary responsible for Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala, fired back at the Bommai government by bringing up an incident in which more than a dozen Dalit workers were allegedly held captive and assaulted at an estate in Chikkamagaluru. One of the workers was even pregnant. 

While Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah criticized the ruling BJP for not doing enough for the Dalits and other underprivileged communities. 

There has been a 54% increase in Dalit atrocities in Karnataka during the tenure of the Bommai government, which is sickening. In a tweet, Mr. Surjewala stated, “A BJP representative detains 16 Dalits as Bommai-BSY (Yediyurappa) takes pictures while visiting a dalit home, and a helpless woman loses her kid (sic).”

“The BJP has now started to think of Dalits, members of the underprivileged classes, SCs, and STs as elections get near. This government has done nothing to improve the conditions of these communities until now. 

“They are visiting places where Dalits and other underprivileged populations reside only for the purpose of winning elections and gaining votes.” Siddaramaiah, who is in Chitradurga to participate in Rahul Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra,” said in response to the questions asked by reporters.

CM Bommai’s response to the opposition.

The Karnataka government has gained momentum following its decision to raise quotas for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes by 6% on October 8.

“The proposal to expand reservations has been on the table for 50 years, but Congress did nothing while in power. The BJP government achieved this by maintaining open communication with all parties. The next line of action will be reviewed by legal professionals before being put into practice”, said CM Bommai.

The commission to evaluate the increase in SC/ST reservations was formed under the administration of chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, but the BJP had the guts to carry it through. The fact that Congress leaders objected to the action shows that they have an anti-SC/ST stance, CM Bommai claimed.

Yatra vs Yatra in Karnataka.

Preparations for 2023 Karnataka elections, BJP strives to lure Dalit voters
Image courtesy – The Indian Express

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday launched the BJP’s Jana Sankalpa Yatra, which will cover central and northern Karnataka. 

Also, further aimed at the Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying it was not meant to bring the nation together or help the poor, as claimed by the Congress, but rather to “relaunch the political career” of its leader Rahul Gandhi.

What is the purpose of Rahul Gandhi’s walk? In politics, he hopes to re-establish himself. The purpose of the walk is to reintroduce Rahul Gandhi. The Bharat Jodo Yatra organizers are insisting that Rahul Gandhi be relaunched- Bommai claimed. 

Speaking at a gathering as part of the Jana Sankalpa Yatra in the Raichur district, he added that they were not walking for the country or for the underprivileged and backward.

About Jana Sankalpa Yatra

The Jana Sankalpa Yatra, which was initially planned to be a series of public rallies to highlight the success of the BJP’s administration in Karnataka.

However, it is now being seen as a BJP’s countermove to the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered the state’s election-bound territory on September 30. Further, it is intended to spend 21 days in Karnataka and has been drawing huge support from people.

The two top BJP officials in the state, CM Bommai and former CM B S Yediyurappa, both will conduct rallies in the area this week. While,  the Congress yatra passes through some of Karnataka’s most underdeveloped districts, including Raichur and Ballari. There are many scheduled castes and tribes in the region where the Congress has traditionally had a significant support base.

However, unlike the Congress march, which is a padyatra (on foot), the BJP yatra would involve politicians flying in helicopters or driving to rally locations. 

Bommai rejected the idea that the Jana Sankalpa Yatra was intended to oppose the Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress. “We shall discuss our plans and work to win the elections in 2023. The Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Jana Sankalp Yatra have absolutely nothing to do with one another,” the chief minister declared as he departed Bengaluru for the rally in Raichur.

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Anil Malla
Anil Malla
Final year (2020-2023), BA Journalism and Mass Communication student from Vishwakarma University Pune. Covered news beats like Politics, World news/Geopolitics, Law and Order for Asiana Times.

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