The BJP is all set to begin its poll campaign through the 'BJP Parivarthan Yatra'. The 72-day rally that will traverse in all the 224 Assembly constituencies (covering 7,200 km) has, however, one glitch, though. The rally will not be allowed to enter the Kodagu district which has two Assembly constituencies - Madikeri and Virajpet, reports Kannada Prabha. Reason? In view of the Tipu Jayanti celebrations - scheduled for November 10 - the district police have not permitted the Saffron rally to pass through the district.
It may be recalled here the district has earlier witnessed violent clashes during the Tipu's birth anniversary celebrations. In 2015, A Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist - Kuttappa and another person were killed while scores of others were injured as violent broke out in Madikeri during the birth anniversary of the 18th century Mysuru ruler.
Last year, a petition was filed in the Karnataka High Court seeking directions to the State government not to organise Tipu Jayanti on November 10. The petitioner has cited Kodagu riots as the reason for it.
In fact, VHP, RSS, Bajrang Dal and BJP had been protesting the State government's decision on Tipu Jayanti. Recently, Union Minister of State Anant Kumar Hegde had called Tipu a "mass rapist" and "brutal killer" of Hindus. The Uttar Kannada MP was also taken into the custody for creating trouble for the Tipu Jayanti, last year. BJP MP Pratap Simha represents the Kodagu-Mysuru Lok Sabha Constituency, and he too has been vocal in protesting against the Tipu Jayanti.
Claiming to maintain law and order, the district administration has reportedly did not permit the BJP rally to enter in the district. This has certainly upset the BJP leaders who are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the rally touches at least the border district. However, their plea has not been honoured by the authorities.
In fact, both Madikeri and Virajpet Assembly constituencies are represented by MP Appacchu Ranjan KG Bopaiah - respectively - and both are from BJP. Despite the party's strong hold, the rally would be missing out on one of its prominent pockets. And this has certainly become a bitter pill for the BJP to swallow.