In Basavanna's seat of learning, BJP plans to use tourism to gather votes for bye-polls

The bye-elections for Basavakalyan, the seat of learning of Basavanna, is slated to be held soon.
Vijayendra Yeddyurappa
Vijayendra Yeddyurappa
Written by:

In the wake of the victories in the Sira and Raja Rajeshwari Nagar bye-elections, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s son, BY Vijayendra, has now been tasked with campaigning for the bye-polls in Basavakalyan. After the death of Congress MLA B Narayan Rao from the segment, the seat is now vacant and bye-polls are slated to be held soon. BJP sources said that the constituency, which traditionally voted for the Congress, is a tough task but the party is looking at attracting the Lingayat vote bank. 

Vijayendra is now in Basavakalyan, and is scheduled to stay there until the campaign for the bye-elections are complete. In Sira, a region that traditionally voted for either Congress or JD(S), BJP managed to breakthrough and win the bye-elections held on November 3. Vijayendra had conceptualised the campaign for Sira and had focused primarily on promising developmental works. In Basavakalyan, Vijayendra’s strategy is to promise jobs and revenue by turning the constituency into a tourist destination. 

The BJP is likely to field one of two candidates in Basavakalyan constituency -- its former candidate Mallikarjun Khuba or Sharanu Salagar, a party worker. Sources said that Khuba does not have the support of the constituents. However, Sharanu Salagar has built up support at the grassroots-level by carrying out charitable activities over the last few years. Sources said that he has been distributing food to the poor and also actively took part in helping the migrant workers, who returned to Bidar during the pandemic. “He supplied food, masks, hand sanitisers and ration kits to the people in Basavakalyan,” the source said. 

BJP sources said that the party is promising to construct a mega shrine for Basavanna in Basavakalyan, which is the seat of learning or "karmabhoomi" of the founder of the Lingayat sect and 12th century seer. In addition, the party is promising to begin conservation efforts for the caves, which were used by Lingayat seers like Akkamahadevi, Allamaprabhu and Ambigara Chowdaiah in the region and turn them into tourist destinations. Basavakalyan also houses a 108-ft statue of Basvanna. The BJP is promising to redevelop the shrine to attract tourists. 

Sources in the BJP said that through this plan, the party is promising employment to locals by driving tourism. “We are promising development of roads in areas where the new shrines will come up. Religious tourism gathers a lot of people and this can be an opportunity for homestays, lodging facilities and also restaurants to come up in the area, which will provide employment,” a BJP leader said. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute