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BJP to use lessons from UP success to retain power in Karnataka; Hindutva, nationalism, development to be key poll planks

The party's recent victories to retain power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur have shown that "principled politics can defeat caste politics", said Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 15, 2022 6:11:02 pm
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. (PTI)

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will carry out a “highly organised” election in Karnataka in 2023 and use lessons from its recent victories to retain power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur that “principled politics can defeat caste politics” and “people have accepted Hindutva politics in a big way”, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said.

The BJP is looking to adopt similar strategies based on Hindutva, nationalism and development to regain power in Karnataka in the 2023 assembly polls, Bommai indicated during an event organised on Sunday to felicitate three state leaders — Union ministers Shobha Karandlaje and Pralhad Joshi, and BJP general secretary C T Ravi — for running a successful campaign for the party in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa respectively.

“There was a lot of analysis of the caste politics in the UP polls but we have to understand that irrespective of what leaders may do among themselves – meddling with caste, using Hindutva only at the time of polls and so on – people are not swayed by caste but (they) are nationalists,” Bommai said.

“We have the strength of Modiji’s (PM Modi) reputation with us. We have the strength of our programmes and the strength of our organisation. If we work together and move ahead we can set the narrative and the agenda. We can come to power on our own strength in 2023. I am fully confident,” Bommai said.

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Shobha Karandlaje, a former close aide of Yediyurappa, who was in charge of as many as 82 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh is widely tipped to be given bigger responsibilities in Karnataka in the run-up to the state election next year, BJP sources suggested.

“She was in UP for three months. I was afraid Karnataka’s loss would be UP’s gain,” Bommai quipped.

“UP is a bastion of caste politics. A lot of integrity is needed to win in the state. Caste politics has been defeated by politics of principles. It is the achievement of Modiji and Yogiji (UP CM Yogi Adityanath) and this is evident from the polls,” Bommai said.

“Many communities are accepting our ideology and coming into the mainstream of politics. Patience, hard work and strong belief have resulted in a big victory in the polls. For many years, we could not come to power in many states. The BJP is now able to return to power in states where it has come to power,” Bommai said.

“This victory is a big seal of acceptance of the leadership of PM Modi. The four states where the BJP has come to power are vastly different from each other but the BJP has shown its strong roots in the four states. It is evidence of the standing of the BJP and PM Modi among the people,” Bommai said.

The BJP’s strong performance in the recent assembly polls has dashed the aspirations of leaders with strong caste affiliations in Karnataka like former chief minister Yediyurappa and his younger son B Y Vijayendra.

Yediyurappa, a Lingayat strongman, is known to have nursed ambitions of his son’s induction into the state cabinet ahead of the 2023 polls but PM Modi and the BJP central leadership have indicated that dynastic politics is not favoured by voters, as shown by recent elections.

On Monday, Vijayendra met former chief minister and Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar in Hubbali, presumably to discuss the latest political developments in Karnataka and to chalk out strategies for the changed situation for leaders, BJP sources said.

“I went to Delhi for personal reasons a few days ago. It is natural for me to meet the party national president Naddaji as a vice president of the state unit of the party. There is no need to ascribe any special meaning to the meeting,” Vijayendra said in Hubbali while rejecting suggestions that he had been in Delhi on the eve of the results for the recent polls to lobby for a cabinet berth in Karnataka.

“I want to clarify on reports that Yediyurappa is making efforts to bring his son Vijayendra to the state cabinet and that he will be inducted into the cabinet. This is all far from the truth. Yediyurappa has never fought issues with the hope of any political rewards and I will also similarly fight only for the party and organisation as a vice-president,” Vijayendra claimed in Hubbali.

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