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Lessons from Gujarat for Karnataka
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 24, 2007 16:09 IST
The battle for Gujarat is over. Is there a cue that political parties in Karnataka, which is going to polls soon, can take from Gujarat?
If there is one party which is exuberant, it is the Bharatiya Janata Party which feels the swing is in its favour. Apart from capitalising on the sympathy wave it has in the state, the Gujarat victory will be a big fillip for the party.
Following the Gujarat polls, all parties have realised the importance of a star campaigner.
While the BJP has the sympathy factor and the two populist budgets presented by B S Yeddyurappa during his stint as Deputy CM and Finance Minister in its favour, what it would need is a star campaigner.
The BJP in Karnataka now plans to rope in Narendra Modi [Images] during its campaign in Karnataka. Senior party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani too would be in Karnataka to canvass for the BJP.
Apart from telling tales about the manner in which it was backstabbed by the JD-S, the party will concentrate on the development factor which is another cue it picked up from Gujarat.
B S Yeddyurappa who had always maintained that he would model Karnataka on the lines of Gujarat will only chant this mantra louder this time.
He does have to be bothered about the JD-S which had made life miserable for him when he said it the last time.
The JD-S had also objected to the presence of Modi when Yeddyurappa was being sworn in as CM with the help of the JD-S.
The JD-S is filled with star campaigners such as Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy.
Both these leaders are well known for the manner in which they can pull crowds.
However they will have a lot of explaining to do. They would be happy even if they get 20 to 30 seats as it would put them in the driver's seat once again and enable them to play the role of kingmaker.
The JD-S will abstain itself from Modi bashing during the polls as it would have realised that the same did not work in Gujarat and moreover there is a swing in favour of Modi.
The JD-S too will emphasis on Kumaraswamy's dream rule in the state and canvass heavily relying on developmental issues.
While both the JD-S and the BJP have their agenda fixed, the Congress seems to be in a spot of bother. First and foremost, the party faces a leadership crisis. They will have to rely entirely on Sonia Gandhi [Images] for their Karnataka campaign. Apart from this the Congress will rope in Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad as one of its key campaigners.
But the question is how much will a Sonia or an Azad be able to do, without a dynamic leader in Karnataka? Moreover there are several problems in Karnataka with inter party fighting between the leaders.
The Mallikarjuna Kharge vs S M Krishna vs Dharam Singh fight is a well known fact.
New entrant from the JD-S, Siddaramaiah too is having his share of problems as he feels that he is not getting his due in the party.
When the Congress settles its disputes and is ready for poll campaign, they sure would not make the maut ka saudagar blunder. They have realised that attacking the BJP on communal lines will not increase their poll prospects. While development will be a major issue during its campaign, the Congress will stress on the stability factor even more.