While a political debate is still raging on the possible impact of the Hindutva agenda being pursued by the Bharatiya Janata Party in its campaign for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka, the party has started adding new campaign strategies to its political arsenal.
The party has now decided to experiment with a strategy of “development with microtargeting” approach with respect to communities and areas. The recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the State during which he launched distribution of land titles to the Lambani community that comes under Scheduled Castes is one such example of the party’s “development with microtargeting” approach.
It had become difficult for the Lambani community to get loans on properties located in their Tandas (traditional settlements) while the local civic authorities too were facing it tricky to undertake civic infrastructure development of Tandas as they were revenue villages without titles.
The party’s grassroots level cadre such as booth committees and page pramukhs would take over from here to bring the community closer to the party, sources said.
According to sources in the party central unit, this is an effort to microtarget this nomadic community in Karnataka that accounts for the second largest chunk of their population in the country. “More such measures will be in the offing ahead of the polls as such steps would go a long way in widening our political influence,” sources noted, while expressing optimism that such things could be a political game-changer for the party in the next polls.
The BJP strategists, who are well aware of Karnataka’s poll history that shows that no ruling party has been able to return to power in the last 37 years, are trying to go an extra mile this time to overcome anti-incumbency through such strategies. Also, the party’s strategists are keen to tackle the party’s perennial problem of falling short by a few seats to reach the simple majority mark. Hence they have reportedly adopted multiple strategies for different areas and communities this time to make political inroads into new areas and also consolidate the party’s political grip in its strong-holds.
As part of such strategies, the party is learnt to have identified three districts of Bengaluru, Belagavi, and Bidar – which together account for 52 of the total 224 Assembly seats – for a focused and intensive approach. The party think tank is of the view that the party has the potential to improve its tally in these districts if there is an intensive approach, sources in the BJP said.
Similarly, the BJP has already made known its intentions of making political inroads into the Vokkaliga heartland of Old Mysore Region this time. As part of these efforts, the party is said to have commenced the process of identifying a few prominent local leaders from its political rivals for wooing into its organisation. The party central leadership is believed to be of the view that it is better to try out ‘Operation Kamala’ (codename for wooing leaders from other parties) before the polls rather than waiting for the process till the poll results are out.