Ex CM Siddaramaiah bullish on party’s Assembly poll prospects

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BENGALURU: Former Karnataka chief minister and the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah, on Thursday said he was confident that the Congress would win the next Assembly elections in the state. The state is scheduled to go to polls sometime in April-May this year.

“The Karnataka Assembly elections are merely a few months away and the BJP’s central leaders and ministers are making frequent visits to the state. One should remember that (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah, who has been visiting the state frequently, had also been behind bars and even if he visits the state for a hundredth time, the Congress will still win the elections 100 per cent,” Siddaramaiah told mediapersons in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The Union Home Minister is scheduled to visit Hubbali and Belagavi over two days, on January 27 and 28.

Eyeing a return to power in Karnataka, the BJP has started its poll preparations in earnest by strengthening and restructuring its booth committees across the state.

Karnataka is considered the party’s gateway to the South and holding onto the reins in the southern state is central to the BJP’s plans of making deeper electoral inroads into the South.

A BJP insider had been quoted as saying on January 14, “We are working to reorganise and restructure our booth committees in Karnataka. Our ‘Booth Vijay Abhiyan’, ‘Booth Vijay Abhiyan’, ‘Jana Sangathan Yatra’ campaigns are also underway simultaneously to ensure our victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections. Our party leaders are reaching out to the people through these rallies, highlighting the high points of our governance at the state and the Centre.”

Further, according to the party insider, a ‘Booth Vijay Rally’ was organised from January 2 to January 12 during which party flags were raised in at least 25 houses at each booth. Apart from the ‘Booth Vijay Rally’, the BJP has also launched the ‘Jan Spandan Yatra’. The yatra is being led by the BJP’s state chief and also features the party’s state in-charge.

According to sources, the BJP believes that the party organisational strength is closely tied to booth empowerment and a stronger booth presence will ensure a stronger organisational hold of the state.

“With just three months left for the Karnataka elections, all prepeerations are underway to win the state and also with an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” a BJP source said.

“The polls could be notified anytime in March and it doesn’t make any sense to go for a Cabinet reshuffle at this time. However, the CM has proposed a name (for induction into the Cabinet) to the central leadership and a final decision will be made soon,” the source added.

Earlier, in December, Amit Shah stressed the BJP needs to strengthen its organisation in the southern part of the country, adding that Karnataka is the the party’s ‘gateway’ to the South. (ANI)

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