Amit Shah, Yeddyurappa Pledge Congress-Mukt Karnataka

There has been a backdrop of dissidence in the state unit of the party, with a distinct coolness between party president and chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa and backward class leader KS Eshwarappa. But leaders at the party office claim all that is over.

Bengaluru: BJP president Amit Shah is in Karnataka - the only southern state to ever be ruled by the BJP - in a bid to kick-start the state unit of the party into election mode. With elections due in a matter of months, the BJP chief is meeting party members at all levels as part of his three-day tour - his first after the dramatic Rajya Sabha election in his home state of Gujarat in which he was elected to represent his party in the Upper House.

The welcome from party workers began on the long road from the airport to Bengaluru city with hundreds of workers gathered to hear his brief speech. Mr Shah was clearly in election mode as he said, "I want to meet every BJP worker and work out a way so that it can be 'Ab ki baar, Bhajapa sarkar... In the coming days, under the leadership of BS Yeddyurappa, we will have a BJP government... Bharat mata ki jai."


"I am hopeful that the way the party, for the last five years, has been fighting against the corrupt, oppressive and polarising rule of the Congress, the people of this great state of Karnataka have decided to vote the BJP to power," he said.

One former lawmaker, Nandish Reddy, was beaming with enthusiasm as he told NDTV, "Here the BJP karyakartas are getting another life. Boost is the secret of my energy for Sachin he used to tell, but today, Amit Shah is the secret of our Karnataka BJP karyakartas." 

There was another welcome at the party office at which Mr Shah was given a shawl and a traditional Mysuru turban.

There has been a backdrop of dissidence in the state unit of the party, with a distinct coolness between party president and chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa and backward class leader KS Eshwarappa. But leaders at the party office claim all that is over.

Senior leader and former law minister Suresh Kumar told NDTV, "I think that has become an old issue now. Now the party leadership is united. Because we have the common goal of achieving the Mission 150."

Mission 150 refers to the number of seats the party is targeting in the 224 member assembly in the coming elections.
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