With the Assembly elections in Karnataka drawing nearer, the ruling BJP is leaving no stone unturned in its preparations.
The party, aiming to retain power at any cost, has launched campaigning meticulously on the ground as well as virtual platforms on lines of Gujarat.
The Gujarat model of reaching out to the common voter physically as well as on digital platforms yielded good results in the state and is now being implemented in Karnataka.
Political analysts explained that the ruling BJP has already started aggressive campaigning in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the state twice, and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has stated that Prime Minister Modi will arrive in Shivamogga to inaugurate the airport in February.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has visited Mandya, considered the bastion of JD-S, and sounded poll bugle. The party insiders say that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will also start campaigning in the state soon.
BJP MP Saadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur had paid a visit to slain Bajrang Dal activist Harsha’s house and addressing a public rally, she issued a controversial statement while talking about the protection of Hindu girls and women.
Apart from roping in national mass leaders, the party is making meticulous planning toward reaching out to every voter. Kota Srinivas Poojari, the minister for Social Welfare has said that the BJP has formed 51,872 booth committees, while 13,21,792 ‘Page Pramukhs’ are being appointed.
“We have created 50,260 WhatsApp groups and the party flags have been hoisted on 32.83 lakh houses in the state. The drive was conducted with the 15,93,848 party workers,” Poojari elaborated.
BJP State General Secretary Mahesh Tenginakayi has said that Home Minister Amit Shah has laid out plans at the booth level to ensure the party’s victory. “We have a mission to win 150 seats. We will achieve it. Along with establishing contacts by reaching to the doorsteps, plans are being made to touch the hearts of people,” he asserted.
N.R. Ramesh, BJP Bengaluru South President, explained that the party is different from other national and regional parties. “Our organization is different,” he said.
“There are 58,000 booths in Karnataka and 8,600 booths in Bengaluru. The party has a 12-member team for every booth. These members will have a WhatsApp group of voters. The policies and programs of Prime Minister Modi, achievements of former Chief Minister Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would be communicated to them,” he said.
All booths in Bengaluru, including 550 booths where Muslims are in majority, are being covered. In the entire state, in 58,000 booths, the booth committees are made for 54,000 booths, Ramesh added.
Apart from this, ‘Page Pramukhs’ are appointed on the basis of the voters’ lists. BJP voters will be identified and page pramukhs are asked to contact eight to 12 houses about 40 to 50 times. They will communicate to voters about the government’s programs and help them to get benefits of Union and state governments’ programs, he said.
The ‘Page Pramukh’ drive was conducted from January 2 to January 12.
When asked about the anti-incumbency factor, Ramesh Said that people very well know about “how false and fake cases are lodged on BJP workers, how internal security was challenged, how cases were withdrawn on terror suspects and how Tipu Jayanthi was trusted on Muslim community”.
Under Kisan Samman Yojna, which was launched in 2016, only 17 beneficiaries were added when the Congress and JD-S coalition government was in power. After Yediyurappa took over, the number of beneficiaries rose to 10,000. Now, the 44 lakh farmers in the state are beneficiaries under the scheme, he claimed.
“People have observed the statements by Congress leaders regarding the cooker bomb blast case in Mangaluru and Rahul Gandhi’s statements about demonetization. There is no question of anti-incumbency,” Ramesh asserted.