By M.K. Ashoka
Bengaluru, April 2 : The BJP in Karnataka is upbeat about repeating the feat of winning 25 seats out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the parliamentary elections in the state. The Congress, which is confident of capturing power in the assembly elections, is hoping to turn the tide against the BJP in 2024.
The JD (S) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are also aspiring to make their presence felt in Karnataka during the Lok Sabha elections. However, Bharatiya Janata Party insiders say that half the job in the state is done as the saffron party had reached out to the youth and the new voters in a big way during the hijab crisis and the series of murders of Hindu activists.
The mindset has changed of students studying in Pre-University (class 11, 12) and SSLC (class 10). The young students came in contact with Hindu organizations and activists in large numbers across the state as the hijab crisis had taken a communal turn and there was a face-off between Hindu and Muslim students.
This had deeply impacted their psyche. The hijab crisis helped the party as lakhs of students readily agreed with the Hindutva philosophy of the BJP and the RSS. The result will be seen in the general elections 2024, when they will vote for PM Modi, sources in the BJP claimed.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated in the context of the assembly elections that the booth level party workers of the BJP have reached the doorstep of every voter in the state twice already. He said that the programmes of the central and state governments have been explained to them.
Former CM and BJP Central Parliamentary Committee member B.S. Yediyurappa referring to the surveys suggesting a setback for the BJP in Karnataka recalled that no one had believed him when he had predicted that the BJP would win 25 out of the 28 parliamentary seats. One of the independent candidates, the MP from Mandya, Sumalatha Ambareesh has now joined the BJP.
Yediyurappa stated that the respect and reputation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the international level will help the party in the polls. By bringing Yediyurappa to the forefront and campaigning aggressively in Karnataka, the central leadership is not only aiming at the assembly elections, but their eyes are clearly set on the parliamentary polls too, say insiders.
The Congress party which had put up a dismal show in the 2018 elections by managing to win only one parliamentary seat, hopes to revive its fortunes. Buoyed by the internal surveys predicting a return to power in the assembly elections, the party is strategizing to win more than 20 LS seats from Karnataka.
Insiders in the Congress state that once they capture power in Karnataka, there would be a change and the saffron party’s chances could be curtailed against the Congress candidates.
Karnataka Congress president D.K. Shivakumar is known for his organizational skills and is equated to Yediyurappa of the BJP. Shivakumar had given some jolts to the BJP and the JD (S) by pulling their candidates including sitting MLAs and MLCs. The Congress could win one seat and save face in the state because of the efforts of Shivakumar and his brother D.K. Suresh. If Shivakumar and opposition leader Siddaramaiah work unitedly, they could pose a serious challenge to BJP in the upcoming parliamentary elections, said sources in the Congress.
The JD (S), the party hoping to become a kingmaker in Karnataka after the assembly elections, hopes to win a couple of Lok Sabha seats. Presently, Prajwal Revanna, grandson of former PM H.D. Deve Gowda, is the only parliamentarian from the party.
The AAP is claiming that after Delhi and Punjab, it will be Karnataka next for the party. The AAP leaders are confident of making a splash in the assembly as well as the parliamentary elections.
Sanganna A Karadi, senior MP from Koppal, told IANS that in the upcoming parliamentary elections the results of the last elections will be repeated. The double engine government in Karnataka has done tremendous work in terms of infrastructure.
“You take railway connectivity, highway and air connectivity, we feel happy after seeing the development. If we wanted to go to New Delhi, we had to come to Bengaluru earlier. Now, I can reach Hubballi in one and a half hours as a new highway has been built. By noon I can reach the national capital if I start from home at 9 a.m. We faced too many difficulties earlier. We had to stay back in Bengaluru.
“Various schemes in agriculture like the Krishi Samman Yojna, every year the central government will transfer Rs 6,000 and the state government will provide Rs 4,000 to the accounts of farmers. MSPs have increased and considerable development has taken place,” Karadi stated.
However, Congress MLA from Bailhongal constituency Mahantesh Kaujalagi talking to IANS claimed that this time the party will get more seats than the BJP.