The party high command sees advantage in going to the polls along with Gujarat
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is learnt to be preparing to face the Assembly elections in December itself instead of waiting till May 2013 for the tenure of the House to end.
According to a senior leader in the BJP, the party high command has made the suggestion of going for early polls in December. “The main reason behind such a suggestion is that Gujarat Assembly elections are also being held in December. The party central leadership feels that it is better to tag Karnataka's polls along with that of Gujarat.”
The high command, which feels that there is a pro-BJP wave in Gujarat, hopes that Karnataka too will get the benefit of goodwill if it goes to elections along with Gujarat, he said.
The high command is learnt to have told the State unit that all the prominent central leaders would campaign in Karnataka during the elections. The high command's logic is that if both Gujarat and Karnataka win the Assembly elections, this would serve as a stepping stone for the party to build its national campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, he explained.
In this context, the party State unit wants to be in a poll-ready mode in Karnataka. As all the elections to the Upper House have now been completed, the party wants to focus on galvanising its cadre. Already, the party has chalked out various poll preparation programmes right from the grassroot level to divisional level.
The party also wants to rush through the process of ministerial expansion and appointments to boards and corporations.
Meanwhile, the party's victory in five of the six seats of Legislative Council for which elections were held from the teachers and graduates' constituencies has come as a moral booster for the BJP, which was dogged by infighting of late. The fact that the party has managed to improve its tally by one seat in contrast with the position of the principal Opposition Congress that has drawn a blank in these elections besides witnessing the defeat of its candidate in the Upper House elections from the Assembly constituency due to cross-voting has increased its confidence. The party is now getting ready with a two-pronged strategy of building on the victory in these polls and also taking political advantage of differences that are now emerging in the Congress camp.
Making this clear at his press conference held close on heels of announcement of results, BJP State unit president K.S. Eshwarappa said these results had significant political importance. “This has given us confidence that we can win the next Assembly elections,” he said while maintaining that the party workers had worked hard for the poll success without bothering about the confusion at the top leadership. At the same time, he said the narrow margins of victory were a warning to the party as some of its supporters had decided against exercising their franchise at all as they were dissatisfied with internal squabbling.
He launched an attack at the Congress by accusing its leaders of trying to disrupt the harmony among different communities. Pointing out that Congress leaders from Lingayat and Dalit communities were at loggerheads over the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president's post, he said such a tussle was bound to snowball into a friction between these communities, and demanded that the Congress leaders apologise for their alleged efforts to divide people on the basis of communities.
He also indicated that 12 BJP MLAs who indulged in cross-voting in the Council elections may not get ticket to contest next Assembly elections.