In an effort to reach out to the urban poor, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including B.S. Yeddyurappa, stayed at slums across the State on Saturday.
Senior leaders Jagadish Shettar and K.S. Eshwarappa slept in slums in Hubballi and Shivamogga, respectively. The outreach comes in the wake of Indira Canteen, a social welfare programme by the Congress government, targeting urban poor. Mr. Yeddyurappa spent the night at an auto driver’s house in Lakshamanapuri slum in Gandhinagar and held a meeting with slum-dwellers. Muniraju, the house owner, said Mr. Yeddyurappa had dinner with them.
The BJP also released a socio-economic survey of slums in the State called ‘Slum Daurbhagya’ (slum misfortune), punning on the Bhagya schemes by the Siddaramaiah government.
According to the survey, a majority of slums do not have public toilets, schools, anganwadis and sufficient water. Of the 2,804 slums with 40.5 lakh population across the State, the survey was conducted in 976 slums. The survey also found that of the 976 slums, 450 were represented by the BJP, 402 by Congress, 210 by JD(S), and 110 by others. Mr. Yeddyurappa claimed that during the BJP’s tenure, much work was done for slum-dwellers across the State and thousands of houses were built. But the sector was completely neglected during the Congress tenure, he alleged.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted: “I welcome the slum stay programme of BJP though it is an election stunt. I hope with this experience at least BJP learns a lesson and put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement at the national level, what we have in the state: SC/ST Sub Plan.”