News Karnataka

In tit-for-tat, BJP replicates Congress's 2013 performance in DK

In tit-for-tat, BJP replicates Congress's 2013 performance in DK

DV   ¦    May 17, 2018 12:23:47 PM (IST)

In tit-for-tat, BJP replicates Congress\'s 2013 performance in DK-1Mangaluru: While Modi's charisma undoubtedly swayed the voters in the undivided Dakshina Kannada belt in favor of the BJP, the Congress lost its face miserably with just one seat, that is Mangaluru constituency out of 13 seats.

Interestingly, the BJP's feat was a similar, albeit better when compared to the one that Congress had pulled off during the 2013 assembly elections when it managed to oust the BJP by winning 10 seats in the district that is considered to be a stronghold of the saffron party.

During the political campaigning in the district, the Congress leaders had termed this elections as 'Truth v/s lies'. The Congress would fight elections in the name of development and the Modi wave will not yield any fruit in Karnataka, they had opined.

However, fate had the exact reverse in store for the Congress party. Jolted by the defeat, the Congress leaders even resorted to blaming the EVMs for the bashing.

The BJP did not just literally wipeout the Congress, but relatively younger faces took on stalwarts like Ramanath Rai in Bantwal, Abbaychandra Jain in Moodbidri, Vasanth Bangera from Belthagandy to become first time winners. Infact barring Sullia's Angara, all candidates from Dakshina Kannada district are first time winners.

Though the state Congress government introduced several programmes, including the Indira canteens during its five year tenure , and these initiatives were appreciated by the public it did not translate into votes for the party at the elections.

Morover, the Congress started working on its social media outreach much later after the BJP started using this tool (since 2014 general elections) by increasing its presence on various platforms to connect with the youth, which forms a considerabe chunk of the electorate. The BJP has to a large extent used this tool to publicise its achievements while connecting with the people.

The BJP leadership's focus on strengthening the party right from its booth-level seems to have paid them rich dividends. The saffron party also got crucial campaign support from the RSS which helped it devise various poll strategies for the assembly elections. Notably this time round nearly 5000 RSS activists actively campaigned for the BJP in twin districts which also came as a setback for the Congress in the Dakshina Kannada.

The communal tensions that the district witnessed in the aftermath of the murders of Hindu activists - Prashanth Poojary in Moodbidri , Sharath Madiwal in Bantwal and Deepak Rao in Surathkal raised questions on the law and order situation in the region. These murders also created an anti-Congress feeling among the public mostly due to the inaction of the local leadership in few cases.

Political experts have also pinned blame on the minority appeasement politics as also divisive caste politics adopted by the Congress as a reason for its loss.

The active social media campaigns and star campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath rendered a massive blow to Congress party in the district.

Lastly and most importantly it was the Modi wave (or rather tsunami) that worked its magic with the crowd thus bringing the lotus to a full bloom in the coastal district.