BJP president Amit Shah successfully participated in the hi-decibel convention of the party, here, on Thursday, to mark the conclusion of the Parivarthana Yatra, led by BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa. All India Congress Committee Rahul Gandhi is expected to visit the city in February, as part of the second leg of this state tour.
However, a section of the people question the utility of such high-profile visits to the city. "In May 2014, Narendra Modi visited the city as the prime ministerial candidate. Later, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited to take part in the centenary celebrations of the University of Mysore, and also the centenary celebration of seer Shivaratri Rajendra Swami. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, a native of Mysuru, keeps shuttling between the city and Bengaluru. Except for the patch works on the small stretches of roads they traverse, neither the city nor the people are benefitted," said B K Kantharaja Urs, a retired government employee.
"Politics is hitting a new low, with the government sponsoring a statewide bandh to foil the visit of a national level leader. Now, the opposition leaders are also warning of reciprocating the gesture. The events may turn uglier, in future. Where will this lead?" asked said Shalini Srinivasan, an employee of an IT giant.
"What is the benefit of these national leaders' visit to a place, for instance Mysuru, to the common people? The political leaders may use the opportunity to show their strength - popularity, money power as well as muscle power. The grassroots level workers of the respective political parties would be enthused at the sight of their supreme leader. But, such high-profile visits only bring misery to the people. Roads are blocked for security purpose. If either the venue of their programme or the path of their travel falls under residential areas, the movement of residents is confined. Do the people deserve this, for voting for these politicians?" asked Dr Salim Ahmad, a physician.
"I don't know much about Amit Shah. But, I don't approve his visit to the city. However, AICC president is an MP, who earns an income from the government. He represents Amethi in Uttar Pradesh since 2004, for three terms. Has he turned his constituency into a model, to be emulated? What are his claims to either inspire or lead the people? Has he set an example in any field?" asks Rukmini Iyengar, a senior citizen of Jayalakshmipuram.
"I see a logic in some leader visiting a place and addressing the people in olden days. Those days, communication was difficult. But now, anybody can reach anybody directly through various media. All are equal in this communication age. A less-educated person, with meagre income in a village gets the same content as a highly-educated rich person in the cities. If the so called leaders want to communicate about their ideologies and principles to the people, it is very easy. Besides, people should not be underestimated. They keep track of what is happening around them and also on what the leaders are speaking. Besides, the number of people attending the functions of such leaders voluntarily, is negligible. Most of the audience have to be paid, ferried and fed," pointed out Praveen Naik, a BBA student.