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Karnataka BJP steps up efforts to woo Dalits; CM Bommai, Yediyurappa eat at Dalit home

Congress leader Siddaramaiah dares the BJP leaders who have started a Jan Sankalp Yatra to speak for 5 minutes without referring to him.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has breakfast with Hirala Kollarappa, a Dalit community member, and his family members, at Kamalapura village in Vijayanagar district, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor B S Yediyurappa joined a Dalit family for breakfast in Hospet Wednesday, continuing the ruling BJP’s efforts to woo Dalits even as the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra covered some of the state’s most backward districts.

Bommai and Yediyurappa visited the home of Hirala Kollarappa in Vijayanagar district along with local MLA and tourism minister Anand Singh. “The uplift of the last man in society is the BJP’s aim,” Bommai said in Hospet.

The government has gained momentum from its October 8 decision to increase quotas for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes by six per cent. “The demand to increase reservation has been pending for 50 years and the Congress did not do anything while in power. The BJP government has done this by taking all parties into confidence. The next course of action will be discussed with legal experts and then implemented,” Bommai said.

“The commission to study the hike in reservations for SC/STs was taken during the tenure of chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, but the courage to implement it was shown by the BJP. The objection raised by Congress leaders to the move clearly indicates its anti-SC/ST attitude,” he said.

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Since deciding to increase reservations to SC/STs, the BJP has dispatched Bommai and Yediyurappa on a Jana Sankalp Yatra to counter Rahul Gandhi’s yatra.

“The Jan Sankalp Yatra began from Raichur district on Tuesday. It has been getting a good response. The Jan Sankalp Yatra will continue till December. In the first phase, it will be held in over 50 Assembly constituencies. People will be told about the schemes launched by the state government and the benefits lakhs of people received from the BJP government at the Centre,” Bommai said.

The Congress called Bommai and Yediyurappa’s breakfast visit a photo opportunity to woo voters for next year’s Assembly elections. “Former CM Yediyurappa & the present CM Bommai is on a Janasankalpa Yatra. I want to challenge them on 2 things.. 1. Get down from their cars and walk for 4Km without falling down 2. Do a 5 minute speech without taking the name of Siddaramaiah,” former chief minister Siddaramaiah tweeted.

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“The implementation of an increase in reservation to SC/STs is a long process and needs political commitment from the ruling parties. Do the BJP MPs from Karnataka or Basavaraj Bommai have the capacity to get the work done from their union BJP govt?” the Congress leader said.

First published on: 12-10-2022 at 20:55 IST
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