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Karnataka: Parties gear up for poll
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 05, 2007 09:20 IST
The netas have put on their thinking caps and day in and day out they seem to be planning their strategy to face the poll, which is round the corner in Karnataka.
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal-Secular will focus on making inroads into those areas where they have not performed too well in the past.
While the JD-S will concentrate extensively on the north Karnataka belt, the BJP will focus on the old Mysore area.
The JD-S feels that it would be at an advantage in the north Karnataka belt thanks to the programmes initiated by H D Kumaraswamy for the region during his tenure as the chief minister of the state.
Kumaraswamy has been ordered by his father Deve Gowda to camp in north Karnataka and woo the voter.
Kumaraswamy will harp on the loan waiver scheme for the farmers which he had initiated. The scheme was most beneficial for the people of north Karnataka who have had the constant problem of drought.
For the JD-S it sure will be an uphill task. In the 2004 poll, the JD-S had managed to bag just 18 seats while the BJP won 36.
The JD-S is now banking on the anti-incumbency factor against the BJP and also says that Kumaraswamy's programmes for the region during his tenure as the chief minister will only help them.
The BJP, however, is confident of a good show in north Karnataka.
BJP leaders say that they would concentrate extensively in the Old Mysore belt and try and woo the JD-S voter to their side.
Plan one to achieve this goal would be to woo JD-S rebel leaders who have been complaining of dictatorial rule within the JD-S by Deve Gowda and co.
For the BJP it is very important that it makes inroads in the old Mysore area as the majority of the Vokkaliga voters are from this part.
The Vokkaliga voter base has never been in favour of the BJP in the past. If the BJP manages to capture the Vokkaliga voter, then its prospects would only double in the elections.
The BJP which capitalises heavily on the Lingayat votes will have an added advantage if it woos the Vokkaliga voter, who usually owes allegiance to the JD-S.
The BJP will also bank heavily on G T Deve Gowda, the disgruntled JD-S leader who quit the party on Tuesday.
This Gowda had said that he is fed of up of Deve Gowda's diktats and also added that he was not being recognised in the party.
The BJP has made its offer to G T Deve Gowda and in case the latter joins the party, at least 80 per cent of the Vokkaliga votes in the Old Mysore belt could be sealed.
G T Deve Gowda was responsible for the growth of the JD-S in the Old Mysore belt.
While both the JD-S and the BJP are planning extensively on facing the elections, the Congress is yet to come out with a plan. The party is too busy sorting internal differences over the star campaigner for the elections. As a senior leader in the Congress puts it, "We cannot do anything unless our high command gives us an approval."