BJP working on Modi-Bommai-BSY magic to win K'taka polls


by BD Narayankar

Bengaluru, Jan 22 (UNI) Amidst unsubstantiated media reports of BS Yediyurappa being unhappy for allegedly being sidelined, the central party leadership is silently working on a "Modi-Bommai-BSY" strategy to win this year's assembly elections in Karnataka with a clear majority.

Not to miss a point, Yediyurappa is very much in the scheme of things to win it big with the help of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, social engineering and reservation quota, among others.

The BJP leadership made Yediyurappa, a member of its highest and most powerful decision making body (Parliamentary Committee) so as not to ignore him, but to use the political outreach he commands in Karnataka politics. This can be gauged when he was made the Chief Minister in 2019 after BJP got a chance to form the government.

Not only this, the BJP is also aware of the damage it can cause to itself by ignoring Yediyurappa, which it in fact did when he quit the party to form his Karnataka Janata Paksha. BJP was reduced to 40 seats in the 2013 elections. The Lingayat strongman had formed his party after he was asked to step down from chief minister's post on corruption charges.

Not to forget, Bommai was replaced with Yediyurappa as the chief minister in 2021 with an objective to make purposeful inroads in Old Mysuru region, keeping in mind the slicing of JDS hold on Vokkaliga voters since 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Bommai's coronation has the potential, after all he was the political secretary of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda in his heydays at Janata Party. Therefore has a rich experience of strong and weak points of the JDS that would come handy this election. Whether this will work in favour of the BJP, only time will tell.

However, the BJP has chalked out a strategy to woo the Vokkaliga voters this time, unlike on previous occasions it predominantly focussed on Lingayat votes.

On the social engineering side, the BJP very much understands the importance of Dalit and Vanvasi voters as they are the deciding factors in elections. There are 51 reserved assembly seats reserved for these communities in the state.

In view of this, BJP's efforts to woo tribals have become all the more apparent since the election of Droupadi Murmu as the President of India.

Also the Modi government, in its second term, has withdrawn proposals to amend the Indian Forests Act, 1927 and the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 following opposition from tribal groups and outfits.

The government also increased budgetary spending on tribal welfare and gave a push to agroforestry and natural farming.

The Modi government is also wooing those Dalit communities who have been the votebank of the Congress. On January 19, he distributed title deeds to over 52,000 eligible beneficiaries from the Lambani nomadic tribes residing in northern Karnataka. This was a world record of sorts for an event.

Clearly, with these efforts, the BJP is trying to endear itself to the tribal and Dalit voters. How much this will pay off remains to be seen. Besides, the BJP is also confident of benefitting from the split of Muslim votes between the Congress and the JDS.

Not only at the macro level, the BJP has also launched an aggressive election campaign at micro level in the state. It aims to strengthen the organisation at all the booths of the state. Moreover, it also wants to reap electoral dividends through Vijay Sankalp Abhiyan yatra with an aim to conduct door-to-door drives and connect with people.

As far as the disgruntled Karnataka BJP leaders are concerned, the BJP is working on a strategy to appease them by inducting them into a campaign committee to be formed, as per party insiders.