Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday met Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji – the chief pontiff of influential Adichunchanagiri Math here.
The Math, in the old Mysuru region is highly regarded, especially by the dominant Vokkaliga community.
Shah was accompanied by BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel, party national general secretary C T Ravi, Revenue Minister R Ashoka among others.
The visit gains significance, as the BJP, which is considered to be weak in the Vokkaliga community-dominated Old Mysuru region, is focusing on this belt to gain complete majority in the 2023 Assembly polls.
Hitting the ground running in poll-bound Karnataka, Shah on Friday addressed a public meeting in Mandya, where he termed the Congress and the JD(S) "parivaarvadi" (dynastic) and "corrupt", and had urged the people of Old Mysuru region to support the BJP.
He had also asked party leaders from the region to ensure that the BJP emerges as the "number one party" there.
The Old Mysuru region is largely seen as a bastion of the JD(S), where the Congress is strong too, but the BJP is trying to make inroads. The region consists of districts like Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Tumakuru, Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar and Chikkaballapur among others.
The visit also gained significance following the State Cabinet's recent decision to create two new OBC categories for Vokkaligas and Lingayats, and to meet their reservation demand by utilising a portion of the 10 per cent EWS quota.
As per the decision, the Vokkaligas who come under Category 3A of OBC list will now be placed under the new Category 2C, while the Veerashaiva-Lingayats, who are under Category 3B now, will be put in Category 2D.
However, it has deferred the decision regarding the quantum of reservation to new categories, until there is a final report from the Backward Classes Commission, and existing reservation quantum will remain till then.
Vokkaligas had demanded a quota hike from 4 per cent to 12 per cent.
Before visiting the Math, Shah visited Adamya Chetana, a non profit run by State BJP vice-president Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the wife of late Union Minister Ananth Kumar.
Besides participating in Adamya Chetana's 'Amruta Mahotsava - Ananta Seva Utsava', he also visited the non profit's zero-waste kitchen at Gavipura here.
-With PTI Input