Are the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the BJP set to embark on a major political journey in Karnataka in the wake of the controversial Tipu Sultan birth anniversary celebrations? Well, the way the protests are panning out in Karnataka, especially in the BJP strongholds, it is evident that Tipu Sultan is set to turn into a bigger political platform for the BJP and many of its leaders, who badly need an issue other than beef consumption, to make their presence felt in Karnataka and give a tough time to the ruling Congress.
It may be interesting to note that the VHP has made a calculated comeback in Karnataka in the last one year, particularly with incidents relating to moral policing, supported by the Bajrang Dal, in the coastal districts. After the Datta Peetha row (Chikkamagaluru district), the VHP had taken a backseat in Karnataka while the BJP ruled the state. Even when the BJP was in power in Karnataka (2008-2013), its leaders, especially the then chief minister B SYeddyurappa, ensured that the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, were not the visible faces of the party for better reasons. However, now that the Congress is in power and floundering at every level, it was an open invitation for the VHP, which couldn’t resist taking up issues that are closer to the hearts of the masses.