M.K. VIDYARANYA writes from Chikkodi (Belgaum district): Whether it likes to admit it or not, for all its posturing otherwise, the BJP has a fundamental disconnect with Muslims. Not only does it have a problem in attracting Muslim leaders, it has a problem in wooing Muslim voters.
Here, the minorities seem to have no trouble in carrying the party flag. But it is not because they have developed a sudden infatuation for the saffron party, but because of the candidate, Ramesh Jigajinagi—a fivetime MLA and three time MP, who joined the BJP at the time of the 2004 general elections.
Says Jigajinagi, “I learnt the art of taking every one along from my mentor and political guru, Ramakrishna Hegde. When I became an MLA in 1983, Hegde taught me to take every one along and deal with problems and issues dispassionately without considering their caste or creed. It’s a dictum I follow to this day.”
The proof of the pudding is this pada yatra taken out yesterday, with Jigajinagi at the helm.
Photograph: M.K. VIDYARANYA