Announces a three-phase campaign from January 20
With political uncertainty looming large over the State, the Bharatiya Janata Party sounded the poll bugle on Saturday by announcing a three-phase campaign for the Assembly elections from January 20 and also declaring that it will face the polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.
The BJP has decided to use the services of its central leaders such as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and veteran leader L.K. Advani extensively during the campaign.
These decisions were taken after a daylong Chintan Baitak that comprised a brainstorming session of its prominent leaders, office-bearers and Ministers preceded by a meeting of its core committee.
Briefing presspersons after the baitak, BJP State general secretary and MP Pralhad Joshi said the first phase of the poll campaign titled ‘BJP: Door-to-Door’ would be carried out from January 20 to 27 during which the party workers would visit all the houses in their jurisdiction to make a personal appeal to voters to support the BJP. During the house visits, they would also deliver a handout listing the major achievements of the BJP government, infrastructure development works taken up in their areas and failures of the UPA government at the Centre.
In the second phase, the party will galvanise it’s cadre by holding conventions of booth-level workers in each of the Assembly constituencies from January 28 to February 10, with a focus on polls.
He said the party would intensify the campaign in the third phase, from January 28 to February 10 during which five teams headed by top leaders would take out poll yatras from five different places in the State and address poll conventions in all the 224 Assembly constituencies before culminating in a mega-convention in Bangalore. He said the party wanted the Bangalore convention to be a show of strength by ensuring the attendance of about five lakh people.
The highlight of the third phase of the campaign is when central leaders such as Mr. Modi, Mr. Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh will address conventions in about 50 places, he said.
Mr. Joshi said though the party’s State core committee had decided to face the elections under the leadership of Mr. Shettar, the decision had to be ratified by the BJP national parliamentary board, which is the supreme decision-making body of the party.
Though the BJP has commenced its election work early, Mr. Joshi ruled out the possibility of the State facing an early election as being predicted by Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa. “Elections will be held only after April 15,” he maintained.
Ridiculing Mr. Yeddyurappa for issuing a January 15 deadline for deciding the fate of the Shettar government, he said: “Mr. Yeddyurappa will keep on putting off his deadlines and issuing new deadlines till the elections are declared.”
He said the first list of candidates to be fielded by the party for the polls would be announced by the time of launching the first phase of the campaign.
He said the meeting had suggested various issues and schemes to be included in the State Budget to be presented by Mr. Shettar.