Forming govt is crucial for us: Muralidhar Rao

BJP National General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka P Muralidhar Rao, by virtue of his position, knows the party inside out. Rao has been in-charge of the state for the past three-and-a-half years now and is associated with the party at all levels. He also serves as the link between the state unit and Central leadership. He has been closely involved in the candidate-selection process. In an interaction with Vijesh Kamath of DH, he throws some insights.

Dissidence has erupted in the party after announcement of first list. Why?

Due to the failure of the Siddaramaiah government, there is large scale anti-incumbency both at the state and local levels. People are looking at the BJP and the number of aspirants is high. We have a multi-layered system managed by numerous people to avoid conflicting interest or personal ambition. We will deal with the situation and it will not go against the prospects of the party.

How did the party finalise the candidates?

We put in place a comprehensive and exhaustive process to finalise the candidates. Opinion was collected right from the booth to the constituency level. (National President) Amit Shah conducted a battery of surveys to evaluate winnability of candidates. There were several rounds of discussion at the state level, national level and also at the Central election committee.

The first list has a large number of 'migrants' from other parties.

There is this talk that the BJP, in its electoral history, has never won in around 50-60 constituencies in the state. We have inducted leaders from other parties wherever we are not strong. The new addition will help us defeat the Congress. Now, for the BJP cadre, the party emerging victorious and forming the government is more important than their personal ambition.

How many more lists to follow?

There will be two more lists.

The presence of the party is nil in many districts

We have had reach-out programmes in our traditional weak areas and the response from the people has been extraordinary. The party's Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivarthan Yatra, Modiji's programmes and Amit Shah's tour has helped BJP gain ground. The Congress has realised this now. (Chief Minister) Siddaramaiah is scared to contest from his home ground and the expansion of the BJP is the reason.

Congress rallies are attracting huge crowds.

The Congress is in power and has the administrative machinery in its hold. But, no other party has a mass contact machinery like the BJP. The Congress even tried to imitate us by constituting booth level committees but failed miserably.

There is just one month to go for elections. What will be the party's campaign strategy?

All modes will be utilised. There will be house-to-house contact programmes. Social media will be extensively used. We have received five lakh suggestions as inputs for our manifesto. We have always been in favour of creating a dialogue between the party and the people and will continue to do so.

 

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