Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-09-07 11:04 Elections to the legislative assembly of Karnataka are to be held in May 2018. It is very routine and usual for the politicians of all hues to make politically correct noises. The whole saga of consolidating their vote base by targeting the gullible and exploited sections of society with grandiose schemes is not new to us at all. Continuing this trend is KS Eshwarappa of the BJP. We have been hearing that he has started his own group called ‘Sangolli Rayanna Brigade’ to fight for the rights of extremely backward communities, including Dalits. At a time when his parent party, the BJP, is being branded as anti-Dalit, probably he is making this move only to draw attention to himself as a prominent Dalit leader. Eshwarappa’s move maybe an effort to counter Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is the face of AHINDA. In reality, the BJP leader’s gambit seems to be nothing but an exercise in self-promotion. Therefore, it has not gone down well with the state BJP, which has strongly opposed any such activity outside the party’s sphere. The present move by Eshwarappa has not only irked his own party’s bosses but also many citizens. The BJP leader's talk of trying to help backward communities rings hollow since Eshwarappa was nowhere to be seen when Dalits were brutally assaulted in Sigaranahalli or Nittur, a village in Hassan district, by the upper castes for entering the village temple. Even today Dalits are ostracised and are being economically starved as a punishment for their actions. Instead of coming to the aid of hapless Dalits, Eshwarappa is making hollow noises. This act of to portray himself as a champion Dalit leader without actually doing any work towards empowerment of such communities is pure political opportunism to project himself as the next CM face. Eshwarappa should first fight for the dignity and livelihood of the Dalits of Sigaranahalli or Nittur village, if he really wants to emerge as a leader of those communities, rather than making empty noises. Author: Born on 3 Dec 1954 at Sringeri in Chikmagalur District, Karnataka Wg Cdr GB Athri (Retd) joined the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer in 1976. He served the IAF with distinction, for over 25 years at various stations, all over India including the border posts.