You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Congress worried of drifting Dalit votes In Karnataka, says BJP’s Yeddyurappa

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2017 Sharan Poovanna

Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Karnataka unit president and former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Monday said the Congress was worried about the erosion of its Dalit constituency, after being accused of ordering restaurant food while visiting a Dalit’s house in Tumkur last week.

The Lingayat leader leading a faction-ridden state BJP is on a tour of drought-affected regions since 18 May with party colleagues. Speaking to reporters in Bagalkot on Monday, Yeddyurappa said the Congress is trying to slander him before the 2018 assembly elections and gain favour from the backward classes.

“Scared with the drifting of Dalit voters, Congress stoops to cheap propaganda on my everyday visit to Dalit’s house,” Yeddyurappa, the member of Parliament from Shimoga tweeted.

Madhu Kumar, the person whose home BJP leaders had visited, also came out with a statement questioning why everybody was concerned about the food served in his house. He said a portion of the food was ordered from outside as there were more people than they had expected.

ALSO READ: Karnataka BJP begins tour of drought-hit areas today, but infighting clouds hover

Yeddyurappa, who helped BJP establish its first government in the south in 2008, finds himself embroiled in a fresh controversy at a time when he is yet to recover from the April byelection losses in Nanjangud and Gundlupet.

Karnataka remains the key to BJP’s southern expansion and the assembly elections next year will also help determine the mood of voters ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, infighting and controversies surrounding Yeddyurappa and the BJP under his leadership has taken the centre stage. Yeddyurappa and his open war with leader of the opposition in the council K.S. Eshwarappa has already reached the party’s central leadership.

“His style of functioning is an irritant in the party,” Harish Ramaswamy, political analyst and professor at the Karnataka University, Dharwad said of Yeddyurappa.

Ramaswamy said the BJP should have shown restraint in nominating Yeddyurappa as chief ministerial candidate nearly two years before the elections, which has led to the current situation. The party now has two clear camps—one under Yeddyurappa and the other under Eshwarappa—at a time when they should be united to increase its tally of 40 seats it got in 2013, down from 110 seats in 2008. The BJP has set a target to win 150 of the 224 seats in Karnataka in 2018.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon