Mysuru: Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned at the high-voltage Varuna Assembly Constituency this morning in favour of senior BJP leader and State Minister V. Somanna who is pitted against former CM Siddharamaiah.
Amit Shah’s chopper landed at the Suttur helipad in Varuna at 12.30 pm and he headed to Hosakote to address a public meeting where over 30,000 people had assembled. He was accompanied by former CM B.S. Yediyurappa, MP Pratap Simha, BJP candidates V. Somanna (Varuna), Dr. Revanna (T. Narasipur) and B. Harshavardhan (Nanjangud). Mysuru Rural President Mangala Somashekar, actor Shashikumar, Kote M. Shivanna were also present.
Varuna is witnessing a tight contest, and campaigning has turned bitter with many violent incidents where party workers from Congress and BJP physically attacked and blamed each other. Grassroots party workers both from BJP and Congress are in a belligerent mood and the situation is volatile as polling day is getting closer.
In his address, Amit Shah said that it was better to choose a leader who will continuously work for Varuna (Somanna) than a leader who is set to retire (Siddharamaiah). “In the last 15 years, Siddharamaiah and his son Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah have done nothing for Varuna, not even a Taluk Centre. Siddharamaiah has claimed that this is his last election. Do you want Siddharamaiah who is set to retire or Somanna who will strive for the betterment of the Constituency for many years,” he asked the crowd.
ATM of Congress High Command
“The previous Siddharamaiah Government was the most corrupt in the history of Karnataka and India. Karnataka was the ATM of Congress High Command where money was looted to keep one family in New Delhi happy. Now again if Congress comes to power, Karnataka will again be the ATM of Congress High Command,” Shah charged.
Looking at the political trends, analysts say that what seemed to be a cake-walk for Siddharamaiah in Varuna has changed now, and with Amit Shah personally getting into an aggressive campaign mode, the fight could be cut-throat.
Moreover, Amit Shah has roped in former CM Lingayat strongman B.S. Yediyurappa (BSY) to campaign in Varuna along with him, ensuring that the Lingayat community — the majority community in Varuna — votes for the BJP.
Earlier, it was rumoured that Yediyurappa and Somanna had locked horns and there would be division of Lingayat votes. However, Shah is ensuring BSY is present and pledges his support for Somanna. In fact, BSY had already stated that he would ensure the defeat of Siddaramaiah.
‘Fear of defeat haunting Siddharamaiah’
Speaking to reporters at Suttur helipad today, Yediyurappa said that the fear of defeat is haunting Siddharamaiah. “Earlier, Siddharamaiah announced that he will campaign only for a day in Varuna but now we find him at Varuna almost every day and being a State-level leader, he has no time to travel and campaign in other Constituencies. This shows that he is scared of defeat,” BSY added.
On Somanna, Yediyurappa exuded confidence that he would win in Varuna. “Somanna has a positive response from the people and chances of his victory are very high. He is a popular leader and a prominent leader of the Lingayat community,” he said.
After his Varuna campaign, Amit Shah is slated to visit Hanur and Kollegal Assembly Constituencies in Chamarajanagar district. Amit Shah will later reach the Hanur helipad and will address a public meeting and proceed to Kollegal for a public meeting at Santhemarahalli later in the afternoon. He will leave for Bengaluru in the evening.