With eye on votes, BJP leaders to stay, sleep in slums from today

With eye on votes, BJP leaders to stay, sleep in slums from today

 The BJP is all set to roll out a 'slum stay' initiative on Saturday, which envisages senior party leaders in the state to stay and sleep in slums across Karnataka.

The slum outreach programme, ahead of the polls, comes after the Dalit outreach programme wherein leaders visited houses of Dalits and had food. The BJP's slum initiative obviously comes with an eye on the estimated 75 lakh votes of slum-dwellers, especially in urban areas.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, BJP state general secretary N Ravi Kumar and Bangalore Central MP P C Mohan said the slum stay initiative will be launched simultaneously at eight places across the state on Saturday.

Kumar said the leaders will "educate" the slum-dwellers on how they have been merely treated as vote bank by the Congress for several decades.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa will stay at the Lakshmanpuri slum in Gandhinagar Assembly constituency in Bengaluru on Saturday night. He will be joined by former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka. Senior leader K S Eshwarappa will stay at a slum in Shivamogga, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar at Chamundeshwari slum in Hubballi, ex-minister Govind Karjol in Vijayapura city, MP Shobha Karandlaje at Kyathamaranahalli in Mysuru, among others.

Kumar said Yeddyurappa, during his stint as chief minister, had constructed 40,000 houses for the economically weaker sections across the state. He said the BJP Slum Morcha has come out with report on the conditions of slums in the state. The report is the outcome of a state-wide survey of around 2,000 slums. The report will be launched by the leaders simultaneously across the state on Sunday morning at the slums in which they stayed overnight. Kumar said that as per the survey 28% of the slums in the state had no public toilets, while 88% slums did not have street lights. Most of the slumdwellers lived in unhygienic conditions, leading to health related problems.

Both Kumar and Mohan fumbled for an answer to a query on what happened to the boy from Sanjaynagar slum in Bengaluru, whom Yeddurappa had "adopted". During his visit to Sanjayanagar slum in February, 2011 Yeddyurappa had adopted Vishwanth, a boy from the slum.

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