Only eight months are left for Assembly polls and Congress is focusing on the Lingayat vote bank.


New Delhi: The Congress has started preparation for the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka. According to party sources, the Karnataka Congress has started chalking out plans on the booth level to rebuild the cadre. “Before elections, the party leadership will reshuffle and rebuild the ground cadre on the booth level,” a senior Congressman from KPCC said.
According to party leaders in the state, Congress will focus on issues like corruption and administrative failure to woo voters. “People are not satisfied with the present BJP regime in the state and they will oust the Bommai government,” G. Shekhar, a Congress leader from Bangalore, said. Congress is also focusing to strengthen its grassroots cadre in rural areas of the state. “Keeping in mind the Panchayat bodies’ election in the state, we have geared up our voter outreach programme,” a Congress leader said.
Only eight months are left for the Assembly elections and Congress in the state is focusing on the Lingayat vote bank. According to the census named socio-economic survey, Lingayat accounts for 14% of the state population, one of the biggest caste blocks in the state. Influential Lingayat leaders from the Congress have started touring the Lingayat mutts. According to sources, the party will play the B.S. Yediyurappa card. “The ouster of Yediyurappa, a tall Lingayat leader from the post of Chief Minister is seen as an insult by many people in the community and Congress is trying to harvest votes from this issue,” a political analyst said.
But recent development can halt the Congress’s bid to woo Lingayat voters. Recently, former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa was given a place on the BJP’s parliamentary board and many see this as a fresh attempt by BJP to persuade Lingayat voters. On the other hand, the ruling BJP has also started preparing for the 2023 Assembly pools. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel would be travelling to 50 Assembly constituencies each during the next month, the saffron party has set a target of winning a minimum of 150 seats. The party would be organising seven mega “Janotsava ‘’ rallies in different parts of the state like Hubballi, Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Doddaballapura, Shivamogga, and in the Kalyana Karnataka region. The rallies would be held between the first week of September and mid-October, and the first one at Doddaballapur. There are 224 Assembly constituencies in the state, and the BJP will need the magic number of 113 to retain power. In 2019, the party had to woo lawmakers from the Opposition Congress and JD(S) to switch sides to form the government in the state.