With the Assembly elections throwing up a tough political battle, the Bharatiya Janata Party has adopted different agenda and strategies for different regions of the State to make inroads.
The BJP, according to insiders, has realised that one agenda does not fit all the regions of the State, with the party facing a tough resistance from the governing Congress, especially Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
In the northern parts of the State, where Lingayats have a dominant presence, the BJP is trying to aggressively project its chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa, who hails from the community. This is in addition to roping in prominent non-political leaders from different sectors to oppose efforts by the government to recommend separate religion status for Lingayat community. Through them, the BJP is trying to accuse the Congress of trying to divide the community.
In the parched Bombay–Karnataka part of the northern region, the BJP is portraying that it would find a solution to the Mahadayi water-sharing row if voted to power.
Interestingly, the BJP’s original agenda of Hindutva poll plank is being pursued aggressively only in the coastal region and parts of Malnad, including Kodagu, where the party has launched a campaign accusing the Congress government of inaction against killing of Hindu activists.
In Bengaluru city, which accounts for 28 Assembly seats, the BJP is focusing on development agenda and funds that have been allocated in the Union Budget for a suburban rail system in the city. Here, the party is also trying to build a public opinion on the alleged scams in the government.
The BJP’s toughest challenge is in the Old Mysore region where the party has been unable to make any major inroads, barring some pockets. According to sources, the BJP’s strategy is to “poach” some prominent MLAs from other parties as it does not have strong leaders in this part of the State. “Some are already in touch with us and we may get them to our fold sometime soon,” a prominent BJP leader said.
The region-specific strategies would get fine-tuned further by this month-end, when the party would take up course corrections based on the inputs to be provided by a team of 56 Central leaders touring the State, sources said.