Karnataka polls 2018: BJP tasted a string of astounding successes in 2017. However, the rise of Congress in Gujarat has given PM Narendra Modi-led party a wake up call. 2018 is another crucial year for the party which is aiming to defeat Congress in Karnataka.
Karnataka polls 2018: BJP tasted a string of astounding successes in 2017. However, the rise of Congress in Gujarat has given PM Narendra Modi-led party a wake up call. 2018 is another crucial year for the party which is aiming to defeat Congress in Karnataka. Apart from Punjab, Karnataka is the only significant state that Congress is ruling at this period of time. BJP is devising strategy to win the politically crucial southern state. However, Oppostion has claimed that BJP is reviving Hindutva as an agenda in the poll-bound state. Now the party has directed its state leaders to refrain from making provocative statements. Instead the party wants to focus on the ‘anti-incumbency factor’ and ‘poor record of governance’ of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state. The party has already launched an aggressive campaign in the state and now wants to bring the focus back on the Congress government’s governance record, according to reports. However, a top BJP leader said, Hindutva factor will still play a major role in the upcoming elections. “Issues related to Hindus will dominate at least in districts such as Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu and Shimoga. Periodic murders of Hindus is an issue (in these districts),” the leader said.
The BJP’s Karnataka unit has already constituted a 17-member manifesto committee in the run up to the state Assembly election due early next year. The committee is headed by former minister and MLA from the city S Suresh Kumar. MPs Shivakumar Udasi and L Prabhakar Kore, and MLAs Basavaraj Bommai, Lakshamana Savadi and Ashwathnarayan, are members of the committee. The party, which has announced its state unit president B S Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate, has set a target to win 150 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls. The ruling Congress has not announced its chief ministerial candidate yet, but has said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lead the party in the polls. JDS will be led by former chief minister and party’s state unit president H D Kumaraswamy.
In the current Assembly, out of total 225 seats with one nominated member, the Congress has 123 MLAs, BJP 44, JD(S) 40, and rest are from smaller parties and independents.