BSY brings on janmabhoomi narrative to woo KR Pet voters


But Kumaraswamy has called the shift in the BJP’s stand ‘hypocritical’

The voters of K.R. Pet Assembly constituency, in the Vokkaliga heartland of Mandya, are witnessing Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa trying to build an emotional connect, levering the fact that he was born in the taluk.

This has drawn an equal and opposite reaction from former Chief Minister and JD(S) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Though the Chief Minister, who hails from Bookankere in the taluk, left his village decades back, his Mandya connection is coming in handy this byelection.

Mr. Yediyurappa has been telling voters that Bookanakere was his janmabhoomi (place of birth) and he had to relocate to Shikaripur in Shivamogga district for other reasons. He has been appealing to voters to pick the BJP so that development can happen in the constituency “which has been neglected.”

Over the last few days as campaigns have gained pace, almost all BJP leaders have been parroting the same lines to strike an emotional chord.

The Chief Minister’s son, B.Y. Vijayendra, has gone a step further by saying Bookanakere is not just the janmabhoomi, but also the punyabhoomi and the karmabhoomi of his father. Ministers C.N. Ashwath Narayan and B. Sriramulu, besides RSS pracharaks, have been peddling the same narrative.

BSY brings on janmabhoomi narrative to woo KR Pet voters

This attempt has left Mr. Kumaraswamy fuming. For the JD(S), retaining the seat is a matter of prestige since the BJP’s nominee from here, disqualified legislator K.R. Narayan Gowda, ditched the party in “Operation Lotus.”

The former Chief Minister has been questioning the emotional narrative of Mr. Yediyurappa in every election rally.

“I am utterly surprised that Mr. Yediyurappa has said Bookanakere is his janmabhoomi and karmbhoomi. Was it not the same person who called me Mandya CM and called my 2018 budget Mandya Budget because I gave Mandya its rightful share? Is it not hypocritical politics?” Mr. Kumaraswamy asked in a tweet.

In another tweet, Mr. Kumaraswamy said, “It is an irony that the BJP which earlier looked upon the people of Mandya as second class citizens is now falling at their feet for political gains.”

A political observer in Mandya say that the BJP, which knows that it not easy to make inroads in Mandya district, has started using new strategies — including such emotional appeals — to swing the voters in its favour.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:56:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bsy-brings-on-janmabhoomi-narrative-to-woo-kr-pet-voters/article30090164.ece

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