The BJP president has told ministers, party MPs and senior leaders to just focus on Karnataka until the elections there in April-May.
New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah has made it clear to his party workers that winning the Karnataka assembly polls, due in April-May, is crucial for the party ahead of the 2019 general election.
“2019 ka rasta Karnataka se ho kar jata hai (The road to 2019 goes via Karnataka),” Shah is believed to have told BJP leaders in a meeting held in Delhi recently.
Buoyed by the Tripura election victory, the BJP is now likely to channel all its energy to dethrone Congress in Karnataka.
The meeting called by Shah to chalk out a strategy for the lone Congress-ruled southern state was attended by ministers, senior leaders from the organisation and MPs. They have been told to focus just on Karnataka, which will see a direct clash between the Congress and the BJP.
Like in Gujarat, where every senior leader was given charge of a few constituencies before the assembly election, Shah has decided to allocate at least four constituencies to each leader in Karnataka.
“A list of at least 56 such senior leaders is being prepared,” said a senior leader.
“Many of them are aware of which are the constituencies they need to take charge of ahead of polls. So, they have already started meeting workers and devising strategy,” he added.
Karnataka has 224 assembly constituencies.
Every leader has been told to send ground reports to Shah on a regular basis.
Sources stated that while the constituencies have been distributed among the leaders, Shah’s own core team will be monitoring the constituencies to ensure the factual veracity of the reports.
Why Karnataka is crucial
A victory in Karnataka could be seen as uninterrupted support to the Modi government since 2014.
Karnataka is the only major state that’s in Congress’ grip and is seen as a hurdle before BJP’s mission of achieving a ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’.
While the Congress is giving a tough fight to the BJP in the state, the latter is trying to project it as a direct clash between PM Narendra Modi and CM Siddaramaiah.
The Siddaramaiah government has recently unveiled a state flag, seen as a move to push the Kannada identity to counter the Hindi-Hindutva line of thought backed by the BJP.
The BJP, on the other hand, is trying to focus on local issues and looking for weaker points where it can attack the Congress government.