BJP leaves no stone unturned to woo voters in coastal districts

BJP National President Amit Shah took along with BJP candidates from Kodagu M P Appachu Ranjan and K G Bopaiah take out a road show, in Madikeri on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi at least half a dozen times each in the last two months and mesmerised the voters in their own unique style.

In fact, they even managed to draw a huge crowd wherever they went, much to the envy of  Congress leaders. But what made the trio visit the coastal region so frequently? Is it the fear of losing the infamous tag described by many as 'a laboratory of Hindutva' or part of a strategy as described by some BJP leaders. Perhaps, no prime minister or no national chief of a political party would have visited coastal district so many times in such a short span of time.

Meanwhile,only a few top Congress leaders visited the coastal districts, except Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who visited twice including one occasion to release the party's manifesto.

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Going by the advertisements published by the BJP in various dailies - both English and vernacular, electronic and social media  - any voter will fall for it as everyday the advertisements were carefully selected on a theme / idea with a punching message, even putting the everyday Amul ads to shame (that appear everyday with different messages).

The FM radio advertisements too were very attractive with different accent and different issues to woo voters from different parts of the state. Right from the local (Mangaluru) accent to Bengaluru and North Karnataka accent (perhaps keeping in mind thousands of migrant workers in  the coastal region), the BJP has left no stone unturned to woo or lure voters.

In contrast, there were hardly any advertisements or counter-advertisements by the Congress. To a query on the reason for not countering the half-truths or true-lies (in some cases), most of the Congress candidates and leaders said that “people know the truth.”

It’s unfortunate that none of the development works took place in the coastal region in the last five years became a poll issue. As a senior poll analyst put it, “There were several issues which could have been poll issues and the Opposition too had several issues to prove that the ruling Congress did not do (though they could have done it during their tenure).”

While seven out of the eight sitting Congress MLAs in Dakshina Kannada and three out of the five sitting Congress MLAs in Udupi district bank on developmental works taken up by them in the last five years, Congress candidates Dr B Raghu (in Sullia) and Rakesh Malli (in Kundapur) have a fair chance, due to dissidence in BJP. Similarly, the dissidence in the Congress in Karkala may prove beneficial to BJP sitting MLA Sunil Kumar.

Quite interestingly, while the Congress is hopeful of sweeping all the eight constituencies in Dakshina Kannada and at least three out of the five in Udupi district, the BJP leaders are hopeful of at least four constituencies in Dakshina Kannada and two or three in Udupi district.

Will the Modi-Amit Shah-Yogi-effect (Mann ki baat) help 'lotus' bloom again in coastal region or the development works undertaken by the Congress (Kaam ki baat) in the region help them to raise their ‘hand’ again, will be decided soon.

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BJP leaves no stone unturned to woo voters in coastal districts

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