The Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah kicked off his two-day tour of Mysuru-Mandya-Chamarajanagar-Ramanagar belt by calling on the Suttur Mutt seer Sri Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji here on Friday.
Shah who arrived at Mysuru on Thursday night, has a tight schedule with visits to slew of religious institutions like mutts and major temples including the Srikanteshwara temple at Nanjangud, Cheluvarauyswamy temple at Melukote besides interaction with booth level workers.
He also has a dinner meeting slated with prominent scheduled caste and scheduled tribe leaders later in the day in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts.
Shah’s visit to the Suttur Mutt is significant given the vast following commanded by the seer in what is a prominent Lingayat-Veerashaiva belt where the BJP has failed to win a single seat in the 2013 elections. Though the party functionaries described the visit as a courtesy call and the Suttur mutt is stated to be apolitical, the political parties cannot disregard its influence over the masses and hence cultivate cordial relationship.
Shah was accompanied by the party leaders including the Chief Ministerial candidate and State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa and Union Minister Ananth Kumar. Shah subsequently visited the Palace and called on Pramodadevi Wadiyar, wife of four-time MP late Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and the titular king Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar.
His itinerary for the day also includes a visit to the house of RSS activist Raju who was murdered two years ago. The house is located in Kyatamaranahalli in the N.R.Constituency, a Congress bastion with a strong presence of the minorities and dalits and is perceived as an attempt to consolidate the Hindu votes.
Galvanising booth-level workers
Finalising and apprising the workers of the strategy for micro-level electoral management through Booth Pramukhs are high on the agenda of Shah, say the party functionaries.
Sources in the BJP said the focus of Shah in his current tour is to galvanise the booth level workers as the party has realized the absence of a strong charismatic local leader who can carry the workers with them.
Hence Shah will hold extensive interaction with nearly 5000 booth level workers of the three urban constituencies in Mysuru city at the Maharaja’s College Grounds on Friday. This will be followed by a similar interactive programme with assembly constituencies in Chamarajanagar district late in the evening.
His schedule for Saturday covering Mandya and Ramanagar districts is also tightly packed with interaction with organic farmers, inauguration of silk growers and stake holders of silk and craft industry at Channapatana among others.