‘Party not just made up of Lingayats, but of oppressed sections also’

In an apparent political message at a time when the former Chief Minister and Lingayat strongman B.S. Yeddyurappa is getting ready to quit the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday said it was because of the support of the Dalits that the party was able to come to power, winning 110 seats in the previous Assembly elections.

Participating in a meeting of the BJP SC Morcha’s national office-bearers and State presidents in Bangalore, Mr. Shettar said contrary to public perception that the BJP is a party of forward communities, especially Lingayats, it was actually a party that includes Dalits and oppressed sections.

He pointed out that the BJP had won the highest number of Assembly and Lok Sabha seats reserved for Dalits in the State. Listing the various welfare measures taken up by the State government for Dalits and oppressed sections, he said the BJP had made the highest budgetary allocation for these sections.

BJP State president K.S. Eshwarappa accused the Congress of using Dalits as a mere vote bank. He said the BJP was striving to bring Dalits and oppressed sections into the mainstream.

BJP SC Morcha national president Dushyanth Kumar Gautam called upon the morcha to play a crucial role in bringing the party to power in the next Parliamentary polls. He said the Congress was embroiled in various allegations. “As it cannot escape from those serious allegations, its leaders are trying to mislead people by telling lies,” he alleged.

Support for Gadkari

Terming the allegations levelled against BJP national president Nitin Gadkari as “baseless and fabricated”, the morcha national office-bearers and State presidents adopted a resolution asking Mr. Gadkari not to think of resigning.

SC Morcha State president A.R. Krishnamurthy was also present.