BJP Amit shah

Bengaluru: BJP president Amit Shah is scheduled to visit the poll-bound state of Karnataka from Monday, where he will visit places of religious worship associated with the Lingayat and Dalit communities, a move which is being considered a counter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s ‘temple run’.

Besides visiting a number of mutts associated with various communities, including Lingayats and Dalits, Shah will also address farmers’ and traders’ meetings, take out a road show and attend party events in the poll-bound state, a BJP statement said.

“Looking forward to being in Central Karnataka for two days, where I will attend a wide range of programmes and interact with people of Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Davanagere and Chitradurga districts,” Shah tweeted on Sunday.

Following the Siddaramaiah government’s decision to accord minority religion status to Lingayats, who have mostly welcomed the move, Shah’s visits to their holy places and meeting gurus are seen as part of his efforts to ensure that the community, the largest in the state, continues to back the BJP.

The Congress government’s decision, political observers have said, is aimed at denting the vote bank of the BJP, which has declared B S Yeddyurappa its chief ministerial candidate.

Shah will go to Siddaganga mutt on Monday and seek the blessings of its seer, the statement said. He will on Tuesday visit Madara Chennaiah mutt, which has been traditionally associated with Dalits. He will also visit the Bekkinkal, Sirgere and Muruga mutts among others during his visit to the state’s central region.

The BJP is making an all-out effort to unseat the Congress from the only big state where the grand old party is in power. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has also been frequenting the state and visited holy places linked to different religions and castes.

(With PTI inputs)

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