Do not be surprised if a call centre executive rings you up to find out your MLA's performance and the problems dogging your constituency. This will be the Congress' way of garnering inputs to sharpen its campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections.
The AICC research department, helmed by Rajya Sabha MP M V Rajeev Gowda, will establish a call centre to reach out to voters as part of its effort to draw up a poll campaign strategy.
Cold-calling voters was done in the run up to the Gujarat Assembly polls recently, Gowda pointed out. "We will do this in Karnataka as well, which will serve as valuable inputs coming directly from voters," Gowda, a former IIM Bangalore professor, said.
Voters in every Assembly constituency - there are 224 Assembly constituencies in the state - will be reached out to randomly. "We will also select voters strategically. They will be influential voters identified in every Assembly segments such as techies, doctors and businesspersons," Gowda said.
The exercise is expected to help the ruling Congress on two fronts: Assessing the voter perception toward sitting Congress MLAs and measuring performance of MLAs from the Opposition BJP and JD(S).
The AICC research department will act as an "interface" between the party's high command and the election war room in Bengaluru, Gowda said. "We are doing studies on some interesting things the State government has done here. For example, everyone knows about different bhagyas (schemes), but there are other programmes that also need highlighting," Gowda said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has deployed the party's key resources to focus on Karnataka. The AICC communications department headed by Haryana legislator Randeep S Surjewala and the AICC social media wing headed by actor-turned-politician Ramya (Divya Spandana) have started their groundwork in the state.
The AICC research department will work in tandem with Surjewala and Ramya, Gowda said. "My department is like the munitions factory," Gowda said. "In other states, we were in the Opposition. In Karnataka, we are in the government. So, our approach has to be different," he added.
M V RAJEEV GOWDA, RAJYA SABHA MEMBER: We will also select voters strategically. They will be influential voters identified in every Assembly segments such as techies, doctors and businesspersons.