‘Public perception has improved’, Shah tells Karnataka BJP Core Committee; assures full majority

Union Home Minister Shah lauded Bommai for 'wisely' scrapping reservation for minorities and distributing it to Vokkaligas, Lingayats.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Mar 27, 2023 | 5:51 PMUpdated Mar 27, 2023 | 5:51 PM

Amit Shah BJP

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has cited a new internal survey report on the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections to assure state BJP leaders that the party would win a full majority in the state.

Sources in the BJP Core Committee meeting told South First that Shah also said the survey showed “improved public perception” in favour of the saffron party.

Amit Shah chaired a meeting with BJP Core Committee leaders at the Taj Westend Hotel in Bengaluru on Sunday, 26 March.

Though the Election Commission of India is yet to announce the dates for the April-May Assembly elections, Union Minister Shah, who was on one-day visit to Karnataka, chaired meetings of the Core Committee as well as the Election Campaign Committee with senior leaders of the party.

BJP Parliamentary Board member and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Mansukh Madaviya, who are in-charge of the Karnataka Assembly elections, and Shobha Karandlaje, Pralhad Joshi and other senior state leaders were in attendance.

A range of topics was discussed in the Core Committee meeting — from the findings of the latest survey and outcomes of the Vijay Sankalpa Rath Yatre, to Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s candidature and the recategorisation of reservation beneficiaries.

Related: South First poll: 130, 150, 123 are Congress, BJP JD(S) targets

New survey doubles BJP confidence

In the Core Committee meeting, Shah presented the latest internal survey, which says that the party will get a clear majority in the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka.

“The party’s central leadership had conducted another poll survey in Karnataka. The survey report said that the party would breach the three-digit mark and get a complete majority in the polls to form the government,” a senior BJP leader told South First:

“The party has conducted many internal poll surveys in the last six or eight months. The reports were not overwhelming as none of the surveys had given a clear mandate to the party. The latest poll survey report has doubled the confidence not only among the state leaders but also of the party high command,” a senior Cabinet minister told South First on condition of anonymity.

However, he did not disclose the numbers the party has given itself in the latest survey.

Related: Kalaburagi mayor poll win: Modi takes a dig at Kharge

“The poll mood has completely changed in the cadre. Now, confidence is high among the leaders when compared to the morale six months ago,” the minister said.

“It is not just the survey report, even the people’s perspective towards the incumbent government (BJP) has changed because Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for many development projects across the state,” he added.

“The voters are applauding the works of the Centre and state governments. The people’s pulse is with the BJP in Karnataka. The high command has asked us to concentrate more on the weaker areas. This party’s confidence is running high at the moment,” the minister elaborated.

Ground reports on incumbent MLAs, aspirants

On Shah’s directions, the state BJP unit will collect ground reports on incumbent MLAs and probable candidates or aspirants from each Assembly segment on 31 March.

BJP state vice president and MLC Laxman Savadi told South First: “In the meeting it was decided to form 15 teams. Each team will comprise three members (Core Committee member, local parliamentarian, and tall leader of the party). Every team will visit the district headquarters to collect the ground report.”

“The committee will hold a meeting with district party office bearers about the opinion of the people on the incumbent MLA and ticket aspirants. These 15 committees will submit a detailed report to the high command.”

“Based on the report, the party will finalise the candidates list and chalk out a strategy to win the polls,” added Savadi, who is an aspirant from Athani Assembly seat.

Related: BJP picks Shobha Karandlaje to lead Election Management Committee

Shah lauds Bommai for scrapping minority reservation

Union Minister Shah has reportedly lauded Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and team for taking a firm decision on scrapping the four percent reservation for minorities and distributing it equally among the dominant Vokkaligas and Lingayats.

“Shah praised Bommai for wisely handling the re-categorisation and increasing quota for the two influential Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, ahead of Assembly polls. This had become a big headache for the government. Now, the party is heaving a sigh of relief as the pontiffs of both the communities have welcomed the government’s move,” the minister told South First.

“He also held a in detail discussion about the internal reservation of SCs and STs and the letter written by the Karnataka government for the inclusion of the quota hike legislation for SCs and STs into the 9th schedule,” the minister said, adding that all decisions related re-categorisation and scrapping of quota for minorities had the approval of the central leadership.

Related: Karnataka scraps 4% reservation for Muslims

Work on weaker areas: Shah  

In the Core Committee meeting, Shah sought a report from state party leaders on the response the party has received during its nearly one-month-long Vijay Sankalpa Rath Yatre.

BJP national president JP Nadda, and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Shah, had launched the Vijay Sankalpa Rath Yatre from four places in the state in the first week of March. The 25-day ratha yatre, after touring all the 224 Assembly segments, culminated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s event, Vijay Sankalpa Yatre – Mahasangama, at Davanagere on 25 March.

“The party has received overwhelming response in most of the Assembly segments. We have given a detailed report to the high command about the segments in which the party failed to garner the expected support to the ratha yatre,” a senior Cabinet minister told South First.

“The Union home minister directed the party workers to intensify campaigning in the weak regions,” detailed a minister, who wished to be unnamed.

Shah warns against ‘adjustment politics’  

The BJP high command has reportedly received reports about some leaders of the party having indulged in “adjustment politics”, or striking private deals with the Opposition parties in their respective segments.

This has irked Shah, who is frequently visiting the poll-bound Karnataka, and he has now warned the leaders about “adjustment politics” in the upcoming Assembly polls.

“Pointing to the latest internal survey reports, Shah has cautioned the party leaders of Bengaluru, Belagavi, Vijayapura and other districts not to do ‘adjustment politics’ in the elections,” added a minister.

“The high command has got reports on some leaders in a few regions who have indulged in adjustment politics. He was serious about this particular issue and cautioned everyone about this,” a senior minister, who wished to be unnamed, told South First.