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The BJP’s Karnataka challenge – The Hindu

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Ahead of the 2023 Karnataka Meeting elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is engaged on a multi-pronged method, with a particular concentrate on wooing the various communities of the State. BJP strategists describe this as “social engineering” mixed with the “promise of growth”. They know that retaining energy is just not straightforward. Within the political historical past of Karnataka, no ruling get together has bought re-elected in about three-and-a-half a long time. This means that it’s not straightforward to beat anti-incumbency. What has made the duty more durable for the ruling BJP is the aggressive method during which the principal Opposition get together, the Congress, is making an attempt to attach with the individuals via numerous measures together with the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which handed via the State lately. The opposite Opposition get together, the Janata Dal (Secular), which has the potential to tilt the scales, is eager to retain its maintain of the Vokkaliga-dominated areas.

The BJP has been pushed into defensive mode, notably because it has been dealing with a slew of corruption fees and irregularities within the recruitment of police sub-inspectors. Just lately, the Karnataka State Contractors Affiliation accused the BJP authorities, parliamentarians, legislators and officers within the State of harassing them to pay a fee of as much as 40% on authorities tenders. Additionally, a video clip of Municipal Administration Minister N. Nagaraju kicked up a storm. He was purportedly heard talking to a police officer about inspector Nandeesh, who died of a cardiac arrest, being tense over the “₹70 lakh-₹80 lakh he paid” for the posting. It’s on this context that the BJP is banking on “social engineering.”

In a serious step, the State Cupboard hiked reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) by 2% and Scheduled Tribes (STs) by 4%. The timing of this transfer was essential, because it got here simply earlier than the get together launched its State tour, the Jana Sankalpa Yatra. Three groups of State BJP leaders are holding two conventions every per day as part of this yatra. They’ve been underlining the hike in reservation at every conference. As well as, the get together can also be holding eight totally different State-level conventions of varied communities and teams such because the Different Backward Lessons (OBCs), STs, SCs, girls, youth, farmers, minorities and weavers. Whereas the OBC conference has been held, the conference of STs is scheduled to be held in Ballari on November 20. The BJP is especially making an attempt to woo OBCs, SCs and STs — communities which the Congress considers the primary elements of its help base. Now that the Supreme Courtroom has upheld a reservation quota for economically weaker sections, the BJP is gearing as much as underline this truth among the many higher caste voters.

The get together has additionally devised methods to draw the highly effective Lingayats and Vokkaligas. Whereas the Lingayats kind a serious help base of the BJP, the Vokkaligas have remained elusive for the get together thus far. Whereas the BJP is hoping to retain its Lingayat help base, it’s now making an attempt to woo the Vokkaligas. The federal government is all set to unveil a 108-feet bronze statue of Bengaluru founder Kempe Gowda on the Bengaluru Worldwide Airport premises, in its try to get hold of Vokkaliga votes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the statue on November 11. To construct some momentum for this occasion, the BJP authorities has already launched a 45-day marketing campaign throughout which “holy mud” is being collected from water our bodies in all of the villages of the State. The get together plans to make use of this mud in creating the theme park that homes the statue. The grand Kumbha Mela hosted by the federal government within the Vokkaliga heartland of Mandya district in mid-October was additionally being seen in political circles as an effort to get a political foothold in that a part of the State.

In Bengaluru Metropolis, which accounts for 28 constituencies of the overall 224 within the Meeting, the get together is making an attempt to roll out a growth agenda via Mr. Modi. Whereas the Prime Minister introduced the suburban rail challenge for the town throughout his earlier go to, he’s going to unveil south India’s first Vande Bharat prepare, on the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru route, throughout his go to to Bengaluru on November 11.

Additionally learn | In Karnataka, a tit-for-tat corruption battle

It stays to be seen whether or not this technique of social engineering blended with the promise of growth will assist the BJP buck anti-incumbency in addition to combat the fees of corruption.

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