Amit Shah to visit poll bound Karnataka on December 30-31
New Delhi: As the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra continues to rage, Union home minister Amit Shah will visit poll-bound Karnataka on December 30-31. Besides the border dispute, Mr. Shah will discuss election strategy with the party’s top brass in the state, including chief minister Basavraj Bommai. The two leaders would also be discussing the pending reshuffle of the state Cabinet. The leaders will also zero in on the JD(S)’ Vokkaliga bastion.
As factionalism rages in the Congress between KPCC chief D.K. Shivkumar and former chief minister Siddharamaiah, the warring factions within the BJP have been asked to bury the hatchet and work as a team.
The home minister will also hold a meeting with the state leaders, including Mr. Bommai, former CM and parliamentary board member B.S. Yeddiyurappa and state unit chief Naveen Kumar Kateel, among others. Mr. Shah will also meet booth presidents from across the state to assess the party’s preparedness.
Mr Shah will reach Bengaluru on Thursday and target the Vokkaliga-dominated JD(S) bastion, Mandya, on December 30. In a move to consolidate the Vokkaliga vote bank, the chief minister has asked the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes to submit a report on the demand by Vokkaligas for a hike in reservation at the earliest.
To retain hold on the Lingayat community, which constitutes nearly 20 percent of the state’s population, both Mr. Bommai and Mr. Yeddiyurappa (both from the Linagayat community) will be working unitedly, as directed by the party high command. Mr. Yeddiyurappa is also expected to be given a "key role" in the election management team, sources said.
On the other hand, with the elections only two-three months away, the chief minister on Tuesday pushed the Karnataka Special Investment Region (KSIR) Bill to provide special incentives for new industrial ventures exceeding an area of 2,500 sq km. Mr. Bommai said that the bill was based on the “successful model” of the Electronics City Industrial Township Authority (ELCITA).
The chief minister also intends to recover government land which has so far remained unused even after allotments. "My slate is clean and I am under no obligation. We will recover the land which has so far remained unused despite allotment,” the chief minister told the House on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the BJP has also activated its various wings to seek support for the party. The BJP’s national women’s wing will hold its next meeting in the poll-bound state’s Tumkur next month to engage more supporters for the coming polls and highlight the Narendra Modi government’s and the state government’s women-centric schemes. The youth wing is also expected to launch a state-wide outreach campaign in the coming days.