Home News National Karnataka loss makes BJP rethink strategy for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh: Report

Karnataka loss makes BJP rethink strategy for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh: Report

Karnataka loss makes BJP rethink strategy for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh: Report

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in for a rude shock when the Karnataka election results were declared on May 13. The party was expecting a neck-and-neck contest with the rival Congress but the poll verdict made the BJP think tank go to the drawing board once again. What was most concerning for the BJP was that none of its strategies worked in Karnataka- be it fielding new faces, denying tickets to leaders facing corruption allegations, Hindutva plank or poll blitzkrieg by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some of the key factors that helped Congress tame the BJP’s bull run included strong regional leadership, a renewed social coalition of Ahinda (a Kannada acronym for Alphasankhyataru or minorities, Hindulidavaru or backward classes, and Dalitaru or Dalits), precise corruption campaign against the BJP and populist promises like free electricity and monthly allowances for women and unemployed youth.

The BJP appears to have learned the hard lesson from the Karnataka poll defeat. According to an NDTV report, the saffron party is not only brainstorming its drawbacks but is also rethinking its strategy for upcoming state assembly elections like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana.

According to the report, the BJP will keep caste equations in mind while deciding candidates and regional leadership in the poll-bound states. The BJP suffered big-time in Karnataka due to the ouster of BS Yediyurappa and the denial of tickets to senior leaders like Jagdish Shettar and Laxman Sadavi who belonged to the Lingayat sect. The BJP has also kept its options open for alliance with regional parties if need be. This will help the party avoid division of votes.

The BJP’s strategy of heavily relying on central leadership came under sharp scrutiny after the Karnataka election defeat. Now, the party is looking to focus on local leaders instead of relying big time on Central leaders. The BJP may also shift towards minutely crafted poll campaigns around local issues rather than putting all spotlight on large national issues. Focussing on local issues has helped Congress in Karnataka.

To avoid any internal rift, the central leadership will ask the state leadership to take along all senior leaders. Like in Madhya Pradesh, while Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will remain the party face, he will be asked to put his weight behind leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narendra Singh Tomar and BD Sharma. In Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje will be given preference and she will be asked to take along other senior leaders like Kirori Lal Meena, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Satish Poonia. In Telangana, the party will empower Bandi Sajay while E Rajendran and G Kishan Reddy will play a crucial role as well. In Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, Brijmohan Agrawal and Arun Sao will be given prominent roles. The BJP will be tightening its noose around the state leaders asking them to resolve their internal differences ahead of the polls.

Political analysts have said that the BJP needs to strengthen its regional leadership while making the regional issues its key poll planks if it wants to win the next elections.


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