BJP plans rath yatra from March 15

With the Assembly elections round the corner, the State BJP is resorting to “rath yatra” politics again. Senior leaders of the BJP will form five teams and take out  “rath yatras” as part of its election campaign from March 15. The party plans to cover all the 224 constituencies in the State.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, BJP State General Secretary Raghunathrao Malkapure said each of the five rath yatras will be led by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka, BJP general secretary H N Ananth Kumar and former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda.
All the ratha yatras, originating from different centres, will culminate in Bangalore where a mammoth convention of party workers would be held on March 29.

Malkapure said the BJP President Rajanath Singh will participate in the state executive meeting to be held in Bangalore on March 13, where the party would discuss strategy for the Assembly polls. The party will hold three-day district-wise meetings in Bangalore from March 8 to select its  candidates in constituencies where it has sitting MLAs.

Three-day meeting
The three-day meeting will finalise candidates in 119 of the 224 constituencies. Presently, the BJP has 105 members in the Lower House. All the sitting legislators have been promised party tickets for the ensuing polls.

The BJP on Tuesday held a series of meetings including that of the party’s core-committee and working committee and a session of  ministers and MPs to prepare itself for the urban local bodies and assembly elections. BJP National General Secretary and state in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan attended all the meetings.

Ministers abstain

In an apparent indication that there is still simmering discontent among its ranks, six ministers absented themselves from the BJP’s preparatory meeting for urban local bodies polls.

The trio — C P Yogeeshwara, Anand Asnotikar and Raju Gowda, ready to break ranks, are believed to be cosying up to Congress. It’s just a matter of formality that they will put in their papers once the Congress confirms their induction, sources said.

While Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai kept Shettar in the loop on his abstention, as to why Balachandra Jarkiholi and M P Renukacharya abstained is for wags to speculate.

Likewise, one time loyalists of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, including ministers Murugesh Nirani, Bommai, Umesh Katti, legislators C C Patil, Srishailappa Bidarur among others, are playing their cards close to the chest.

 However, donning a brave front, party top brass including Shettar, Eshwarappa and Ananth Kumar are learnt to have exhorted workers that they should face polls confidently focusing on local issues and safely skirting tumultuous developments in the party during the last four-and-half years of its pitiful rule. That MPs — B Y Raghavendra and Shivakumar Udasi, were not invited was only to be expected.

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