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Ahead of polls, BJP plans ‘Rath Yatre’ from north and south Karnataka covering all 224 constituencies

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UDUPI (K’TAKA), Nov 7 (PTI): Gearing up for the Assembly polls that are due in about five months, the Karnataka BJP has planned a “Ratha Yatre” from north and south of the state, covering all the 224 constituencies, soon after completing its ongoing ‘Jana Sankalpa Yatre’.

The move comes amid buzz that Congress leaders are planning a statewide bus tour ahead of the elections, in two separate teams headed by Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar and Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah.

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“During Jana Sankalpa Yatre, we are visiting assembly constituencies to organise the party at the grassroots level along with mobilising the people in its favour. There is great support and response for this yatre. We are seeing a wave in favour of the BJP. Along with public support, there is a new sense of confidence among our workers,” chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, “After this Yatre, we will start Rath Yatre from both directions, from north and south, and we will cover all 224 Assembly constituencies.”

BJP’s ‘Jana Sankalpa Yatre’ led by chief minister Bommai and party strongman and parliamentary board member B S Yeduyurappa will resume here on Monday.

The Yatre will be covering Udupi, and ‘Kitturu-Karnataka’ districts of Gadag, Haveri, and Belagavi, during the next three days.

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The BJP had launched Jan Sankalpa Yatre from Raichur last month, as part of which two teams — one led by Bommai and Yediyurappa, and the other led by state BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel — have planned to cover 52 Assembly segments across the state before December 25.

BJP has also planned  its ST Morcha’s convention in Ballari on November 20 and the SC Morcha rally in Mysuru on November 30.

Meanwhile, party national secretary in-charge of the state, Arun Singh will be visiting various parts of ‘Kalyana Karnataka’ region like Kalaburagi, Indi, Sindagi, and also parts of Chitradurga, Davangere and Tumakuru districts, and will be holding meeting with leaders and office-bearers there, from November 8 to 11.

Stating that Siddaramaiah is under “illusion” that people will bring the Congress to power in the state, Bommai said, ahead of 2018 assembly polls too, when the opposition party was in power and had more than 120 legislators, the Leader of Opposition had made similar claims, but his party was reduced to 77 MLAs after the election.

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“People had rejected him (Siddaramaiah) and his party (in 2018 polls), after having seen his administration and programmes, Congress’ divide and rule policy, and it pushing the state towards misery. People have not forgotten it,” he said.

Further noting that Siddaramaiah’s predictions of Congress coming to power will never come true, the chief minister said: “His claims have never come true. He had claimed that H D Kumaraswamy and B S Yediyurappa would not become chief ministers again, but they became CMs. He had also claimed to become CM once again, but it never happened.”

Slamming the Congress and its President Mallikarjun Kharge for accusing his government of corruption, Bommai calling the grand old party “Gangotri of corruption”, alleged that it has been indulging in “record corruption” for over five decades, when it was in power.

“To hide their corruption, they make such false allegations against us (BJP). Congress is synonymous with lies…three to four corruption cases during the Congress’ regime are being investigated and more will be probed in the days to come,” he said.

Congress has a record of scams and corruption during their rule in Karnataka and is now accusing others of wrongdoing to cover up their past deeds, Bommai said.

He claimed the public will never forget the Congress which had brought the state to its worst situation when they were in power in the state.

To a question on the Surathkal toll gate issue, he said appropriate action will be taken.

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