In the run-up to the Karnataka Assembly Elections scheduled to be held in April next year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state is leaving no stones unturned to reach out to people.
On Monday, BJP state President and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa hosted several Dalit families at his residence in Dollars Colony in Bengaluru. The senior BJP leader had invited the Dalit families from 31 districts in the state, for lunch at his residence.
According to reports, it was an 18-item lunch served to the Dalit families who had come from various parts including Chikkamagaluru and Raichur. Yeddyurappa reportedly gifted dhotis and shirts to the men and silk sarees to the women.
This was in continuation of the party's Jan Sampark Abhiyan, as part of which, Yeddyurappa had visited Dalit families in the state and had breakfast in their houses.
"There is no politics here. I'm only reciprocating their gesture by inviting them for a lunch at my residence. This is one of the most unforgettable days of my life," Yeddyurappa told reporters.
The Times of India quoted Thayamma, a daily wage labourer from Arjanwada village in Raichur district saying, "In fact, when Yeddyurappa had come to our house we had told him that we are poor and cannot afford to serve him great food, but he did not complain and enjoyed whatever we gave him.''
Others commented that Yeddyurappa's gesture has made huge differences in their social lives, considering no other political leaders have extended such an invitation.
While Yeddyurappa's gesture was met with harsh criticism from Congress, with the CM Siddaramaiah accusing the BJP leader of "publicity stunts," Yeddyurappa shot back at the Congress.
"Has any political leader invited Dalits to his house for lunch? None have. I have made an attempt now and the response has been good," he said.