Somewhat concerned of the outcome and impact of the Congress election campaign in Karnataka in the last four months, the central leadership of the BJP now want to start the Modi “wave” campaign in the poll bound state as it is reportedly not happy with the campaign being organized by the Karnataka state unit.
This is being linked to a meeting last week between the RSS leaders in Karnataka and the BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav related to the election scenario in the state.
Reports indicate that Ram Madhav did not hold any meetings with the local BJP leaders during his visit to the state as his mandate was clear – meet the RSS, get a sense of the polls and report back to the central leadership in New Delhi.
State BJP leaders claimed that the visit of Ram Madhav was to finalise the campaign plan for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the poll-bound state. Madhav is credited with successfully crafting strategies for the party in elections in multiple North Eastern states.
Several BJP sources have been quoted in the media saying that the central leadership of the party is not at all happy with the election campaign run by the state unit compared to the campaign conducted by the Congress.
28 out of a total of 30 districts have already been covered in campaigns by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. BJP is also worried about the crowd gathering at the rallies of Rahul Gandhi.
Additionally, both Modi and Shah have been taken head on by Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and has attacked the duo on multiple subjects virtually on a daily basis.
“Our campaign so far has been lacklustre. We have failed to put the Congress on back foot. Actually, they are setting the agenda and we are being forced to react to them. The party high command has taken a serious note of it and they seem to have decided to take direct charge of the campaign,” a senior state BJP leader was reported telling the media.
While Amit Shah has campaigned in 10 to 12 districts of the state, four rallies have been organized for the Prime Minister in the last four months. Sources said that at least 8 to 10 more rallies are slated to be addressed by Modi in the next month in various parts of the state. There has however been demands of at least 15 public meetings from the prime minister by the state BJP.
“PM Modi is our biggest weapon. We want him to create a Modi “wave” closer to the election. In Gujarat, he single handedly rescued the party from a certain defeat. The situation is not so favourable even here. We are hopeful that Prime Minister will do the magic,” said a spokesperson of the state BJP unit to the media.
This opinion is also shared by the local RSS leaders.
The lacklustre campaign by BJP’s chief ministerial face BS Yeddyurappa in the last two months has also caused concerns among the BJP. There are no other crowd pullers for the BJP in the state barring the chief ministerial candidate and even he has been put on the back foot in last two months by a number of issues including the demand for separate religion for Lingayats, Mahadayi river water sharing and corruption allegations.
In the next one month, 105 LED vehicles will beam all activities of the BJP throughout the state. Additionally, the state unit of the BJP also wants PM Modi to focus on local issues during his election speeches in Karnataka.
(Adapted from CNN News18.com)