Bharatiya Janata Party’s newly appointed Election Campaign Committee Chairman Narendra Modi is set to visit Karnataka either in August or September to review the party’s State unit’s preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.
According to sources in the BJP, Mr. Modi has informed the party’s State unit that he would be visiting the State. “His visit is likely to be confined to Bangalore where he would be holding a meeting of the leaders in-charge of each of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies,” the sources said.
They said that Mr. Modi is focussing on Karnataka for the Lok Sabha elections as it was the only southern State where the BJP had a “significant presence”.
The Gujarat Chief Minister had been invited by the party’s State leadership during the campaign for the Assembly elections. Though he addressed only three public meetings during the entire campaign, he had been allotted prime locations where the party thought it had potential to win seats. Interestingly, it was a mixed bag of results for the party as of the three areas — Bangalore, Belgaum and Mangalore — where Mr. Modi campaigned, the party did comparatively well in Bangalore and Belgaum, but performed poorly in its traditional stronghold of Dakshina Kannada (Mangalore).
Meanwhile, after a brief lull following the devastating defeat in the Assembly polls, the BJP State unit has commenced efforts to set the stage ready for beginning preparations for the Lok Sabha polls. The party wants to appoint in-charge leaders for each one of the Lok Sabha constituencies by July-end and also prepare a constituency-specific plan for the elections.
The party is focussing on organisational elections that are supposed to conclude by July-end as per the calendar of events. However, the organisational elections are not going to see any change in the presidential post as the recent appointment of Pralhad Joshi as the state unit president would be only ratified in the process of organisational elections.
The sources said that the party organisation was trying to use Mr. Modi’s elevation as the main issue to instil confidence among its cadre whose morale is down with the defeat in the Assembly elections as well as the three-way split in the party in the wake of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the former Minister B. Sriramulu quitting the party.
Though there have been informal demands for bringing back Mr. Yeddyurappa into the party, the sources made it clear that this issue cannot be taken up for any formal discussion with the party high command at least for about a month as the Central leadership is busy in tackling the issues that have arisen out of Mr. Modi’s elevation.
“The Yeddyurappa issue will have to wait for at least a month,” according to the sources.