BENGALURU: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who arrived in Bengaluru on Thursday night, had a breakfast meeting with senior leader B S Yediyurappa at the latter’s residence on Friday. This is being seen as a message to the community that the Lingayat strongman has not been sidelined in the party and an attempt to quell any disenchantment among Lingayat leaders in the party.
Shah was given a warm welcome by Yediyurappa and his family members including his daughters Umadevi and Padmavathi while son B Y Vijayendra and his family members were also present. On the breakfast menu was upma, dosa, pongal, idli and rasmalai.
To quell the diffences among Lingayat leaders, Shah had also recently invited Minister V Somanna to his Delhi residence a few days ago, when the latter is said to have made his displeasure known against Vijayendra. The Union Minister had also paid a surprise visit to Somanna’s residence in Bengaluru on December 31.
Also, with an eye on the Congress in the Old Mysuru region, the BJP is making all efforts to retain senior leaders before the announcement of the election. Amit Shah himself has got into the thick of things.
With speculation rife that Minister A Narayana Gowda may be looking to switch to the Congress, Shah invited him to Delhi and held detailed discussion on the political developments in Mandya districts and the BJP’s organisational strengths.
Shah is learnt to have told Narayana Gowda that he has the full backing of the party and its leaders and that he should focus on building the party and not worry about his electoral prospects, thereby indirectly sending across a message to him not to quit the party.
With the party-hopping season beginning, it is believed that other senior leaders like S T Somashekar and Byrathi Basavaraj may also get a call from Amit Shah.