Cong peaked early, BJP campaign hitting right chord at right time: Santhosh

05:41 PM May 05, 2023 | PTI |

Senior BJP leader B L Santhosh has said the Congress campaign in Karnataka peaked early while his party’s electioneering is hitting the right chord at the right time and has put it on course to win a majority.


Speaking on a ‘Twitter Space’, the key BJP general secretary in charge of the party organisation described Bajrang Dal as a ”nation-building force” and slammed the Congress for equating it with the banned Islamic outfit PFI, which he blamed for killing several of his party’s workers.

”Hindu and terrorism, they do not go together at all. Hindu and extremism both words cannot walk together…. They (Congress) have given us an issue and we will be raising them,” he said amid aggressive campaign by the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to corner the opposition party over the issue.

The Congress promised in its manifesto of tough action against Bajrang Dal just to garner minority votes, he said. With the BJP invoking Lord Hanuman in its counter campaign, Santhosh noted that a senior Congress leader posted on social media a photo of him bowing before Lord Hanuman.

”This is the way these people are getting caught in their own web,” he said, targeting the Congress as well as the third party in the fray, Janata Dal (Secular).


Santhosh, who hails from Karnataka, acknowledged that the ruling party was ”a bit on the back foot” earlier because of the Congress’ continuous attack but asserted that the opposition party was not successful in building anti-incumbency against the state government.

”We don’t have any anti-incumbency troubling, harming us,” he said, adding that the state government’s performance may not have been ”spectacular” but it has been good. He praised the government headed by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and huge rains last year.

As the BJP launched its campaign to retain power in the state, he said, the biggest challenge for the leadership was not winning the polls but winning with a clear majority. Around a month back the BJP was confident of emerging as the single largest party whatever be the surveys, he said in an apparent reference to the opinion polls which had put the Congress ahead of the ruling party in the election to the 224-member assembly on May 10. ”Over a period of last 30 days and over a period of next six days our major aim is that we have to cross the halfway mark. We are crossing it and we have to go past 120 and we have to touch 130 if possible,” he said.

The Congress campaign, he said, peaked early. It should have peaked by May 5-May 6 but it peaked by April 24-25. ”They do not have anything new to offer to electorate,” he said, adding that the opposition party has nothing concrete to file complaint against the state government over corruption issues it has been raising.

Despite hard attacks from the Congress, anti-incumbency factor did not build up, he claimed. ”Our campaign is hitting the right chord at the right time,” Santhosh said, adding that the BJP manifesto has drawn praise from all sections of society after being prepared following consultations with various groups across the state.

PM Modi visited the state many times before the polls were announced to inaugurate a number of development projects, from expressway to Vande Bharat train and IIT, while the state government has perfectly complemented the Centre to push the state ahead on various development metrics, he said.

Citing various figures, ranging from more than 55 lakh farmers getting Rs 10,000 annual payment to four lakh families getting property rights to the state emerging top in getting FDI, he said people will back the BJP’s performance over the Congress’ guarantees. People also know that the Congress has failed in delivering on its promises in states where it is in power, he added.

At the receiving end of criticism from some BJP leaders like Jagadish Shettar who quit the party after being denied the ticket, Santhosh talked about the extensive ticket-selection exercise the party took and asserted that it is not possible for one person to influence the process.

The campaign for the keenly contested polls will end on May 8 and the counting of votes is scheduled for May 13.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.