Tour politics: BSY to target DVS

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The tussle between two former chief ministers has turned uglier with B.S. Yeddyurappa deciding to visit the drought-hit areas in Mysore and Chamarajnagar districts which were to be covered by his bete noire, D.V. Sadananda Gowda during his drought tour. Mr Yeddyurappa has decided to tour the two districts on August 30 and 31.

Earlier, the BJP state unit had clearly demarcated the tour programmes of the two former CMs. Mr Yeddyurappa was to tour north Karnataka and Mr Sadananda Gowda the old Mysore region including Chamarajanagar so that there was no ‘clash of interests.’ Now that BSY has decided to tour the old Mysore region for two days, DVS is expected restrict his tour to Mysore city and has reportedly cancelled his tour of Nanjangud on August 28.

Mr Yeddyurappa has his reasons to ‘invade’ the territory Sadananda Gowda was planning to visit and garner support for himself. By drawing crowds bigger than those DVS would attract in the Vokkaliga heartland — which he is confident of — Mr Yeddyurappa wants to show who the numero uno in the state BJP is. He has even timed his visit to Mysore and Chamarajanagar after DVS’ proposed visit to the region to demolish any ambition Mr Gowda had of challenging him, sources said.

The Lingayat strongman will not stop at this and is planning to take on Opposition leader Siddaramaiah on his home turf — Varuna in Mysore — where he is planning a rally. Sources said he would like to prove a point to Mr Siddaramaiah that he is even popular in the senior Congress leader’s constituency.

Sources in the BSY camp confirmed that he was planning to tour Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts for two days after his north Karnataka tour, but there was nothing forthcoming from the party on his extended tour programme. As per the programme drawn up by the party, BSY should have ended his tour on August 25.

The former CM is also trying to send a message to the party that he is his own boss and has no plans to adhere to tour programmes drawn up by the official leadership. Stung by BSY’s new tour schedule, the party has done what it felt was wise—it has rescheduled Sadananda Gowda’s tour. Mr Gowda will tour Mysore city on August 28, Ramnagara on August 29, Kodagu on August 30 and resume his tour from September 4 in Kodagu district without visiting Chamarajanagar or other parts of Mysore district BSY is visiting.

It remains to be seen if DVS will change his tour programme to suit the party’s interests with sources in Mr Gowda’s camp saying they knew nothing about the redrawn tour schedule of Mr Yeddyurappa in Mysore and Chamarajanagar.

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