The incumbent BJP is confident that it will not need to cobble up numbers to retain power in Karnataka.
“There won’t be a need for any kind of ‘operations’ this time around,” said the state’s Minister for Social Welfare Department and Backward Classes Welfare Kota Srinivas Poojary.
He was asked if the BJP would need to resort to “Operation Kamal” yet again.
“We will get the mandate in Karnataka,” he asserted.
Operation Kamal is a term used to describe the practice of luring MLAs from other parties to the BJP to gain a majority in a state Assembly where it is short on numbers, thereby coming to power.
Poojary told reporters at the BJP’s state head office on Saturday, 14 January, that the saffron party’s confidence stems from its strong booth-level campaign.
BJP’S booth-level outreach
Beaming with confidence following the success of the Booth Vijay Abhiyan (Campaign) in the state, which started on 2 January, Poojary said the BJP had touched the hearts and minds of people, who hoisted party flags on their houses.
“With the aim to hoist 50 lakh BJP flags on 50 lakh houses in the state, we have already hoisted 32,00,883 flags on houses until 12 January. The campaign is ongoing, and we will certainly cross 50 lakh flags before the elections,” he said.
The Booth Vijay Campaign has also been digitalised, and Panna, or Page, Pramukhs — chiefs for every page of the voter list — have been appointed to monitor the social media pages of the campaigns.
Each and every BJP veteran has reportedly participated in booth-level outreach in the state.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai campaigned in Shivajinagar, Karnataka BJP president and Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel campaigned at the booth level in Mangaluru, former chief minister BS Yeddiyurappa campaigned in Shivamogga, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi campaigned in Gadag, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje campaigned in Udupi.
All the district in-charge ministers have already participated in the inaugural functions of the campaign in their districts.
MPs, MLAs, and MLCs have all taken to campaigning and reached out until the last worker, Poojary told reporters, adding that ensuring victory at the booth level would mean winning the elections was assured.
Poojary, who is the chief coordinator of the Booth Vijay Campaign, explained that the BJP had formed a total of 51,872 booth committees and appointed 13,21,792 Page Pramukhs, where every page has 30 voters.
Around 50,260 WhatsApp groups for BJP party workers have been created, and a total of 15,93,848 workers have been involved in the campaign, he added.
Through these groups, the programmes, achievements, and plans of the “double-engine government” have been communicated to the people, said Poojary.
Karnataka BJP general secretary and Campaign Co-Coordinator Mahesh Tenginkai said the Booth Vijay Campaign was Amit Shah’s brainchild.
Leaders, including BJP national president JP Nadda, too took part in the Booth Vijay Campaign.
“Until 12 January, there have been 65,320 meetings conducted, and 615 web meetings were also organised. The mission is winning 150 seats, and we are inching towards it,” Tenginkai told South First.
Congress dubs exercise futile
Even as BJP sang praises of its booth-level campaign, the Congress deemed it a futile exercise.
Senior Congress leader and MLC BK Hariprasad told South First: “It’s all like their missed-call membership.
He added: “They claim that everything is fine. It’s all from WhatsApp university, Let’s wait and watch.”