12 April, 2021

Skip, Skim, Skewer

The BJP’s new high confounds recent history

Skip, Skim, Skewer

In the clogged streets of Chikkaballapura on April 6, the BJP roadshow crawls on, then stops near the market. The BJP’s star campaigners—chosen on the basis of the caste demographics of Chikkaballapura constituency—ride a campaign truck, exhorting, appealing and pointing out the BJP’s efforts towards the common weal. They unfailingly castigate the two outsiders in the fray—Union minister Veerappa Moily and former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy. Former minister B.N. Bacchegowda, the BJP nominee, is hailed as the ‘local’ candidate, with consummate knowledge of the area’s problems and needs. Former deputy CM R. Ashoka puts it rhetorically, asking if voters want “a tou­ring talkies or a permanent movie theatre”.

Bacchegowda invites Venugopal, lea­der of the Balija community—present in large numbers in the area—to speak. Venugopal begins with an invocation from the Bhagavadgita. He likens Modi to Krishna, come to liberate mankind from adharma, and Bacchegowda to Arjuna. BJP activists, fed a farrago of...

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