Udupi: K.S. Eshwarappa, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader on Monday said that banning cow slaughter would be the first bill that the party would pass if it secures power in Karnataka in the upcoming assembly elections.

“BJP will come to power. And as soon as we come to power in Karnataka, the first thing we will do is ban cow slaughter," the leader of opposition in the legislative council said in Udupi.

The state BJP is carrying out a Karnataka Suraksha Yatre, dubbed Hindutva Padayatre, across communally sensitive regions of Coastal Karnataka to consolidate the fragmented Hindu votes in the region.

Though the BJP has been speaking about development as its polls plank, the ongoing yatra has focused on the alleged targeting of Right wing workers by minority groups, cow slaughter and protecting Hindu among other contentious issues.

On Monday, the rally passed through Byndoor, Kundapura and ended in Udupi. The other leg of the rally, that began in Kodagu district, passed through Kalladka and Bantwal. Both rallies will simultaneously enter Mangalor city on Tuesday where Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to address the gathering.

The BJP has targeted Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah in all its speeches, holding the latter solely responsible for the deteriorating law and order in coastal regions.

Udupi-Chikmagaluru member of Parliament Shobha Karandlaje said that the Karnataka government has not been able to apprehend rationalist M.M. Kalburgi’s killers even after two years.

“You (Congress) are trying to frame Hindu youths for the murder of (journalist) Gauri Lankesh," she said, adding that Siddaramaiah was doing this only for electoral gains.

Karandlaje’s allegations come after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) took a local gun runner, K.T. Naveen Kumar, for questioning in the 5 September killing of Lankesh.

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