Karnataka polls 2018: Tuesday verdict adds to Amit Shah’s aura as BJP master strategist

Noting the strength of Yeddyurappa, Shah nipped in the bud any scope for leadership confusion by backing him as the CM candidate.

Published: 16th May 2018 05:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2018 06:00 AM   |  A+A-


BJP chief Amit Shah flashing a victory sign on Karnataka election results day - PTI Photo

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: BJP chief Amit Shah’s penchant for electoral victories saw him leading over a 40-day campaign in Karnataka where the saffron outfit missed the magical figure of 113 seats by a whisker. 

Clear that Karnataka holds key to BJP’s ambitious foray south of Vindhyas, Shah steered the tricky campaign trails in Karnataka where the wily chief minister Siddaramaiah played the regional and Lingayata cards.   

He fielded Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on hand-picked 35 Assembly constituencies to checkmate the Lingayata card. Sticking to time-tested strategies to work on each polling booth, Shah entrusted party general secretary P Muralidhar Rao to put in place a robust network to help swell the BJP support base in times of elections. 

“From 19 per cent, the BJP bagged 37 per cent votes in the Karnataka elections even while the party was seven short of the magic figure to form the government,” Shah said in the victory speech.

Incidentally, the BJP chief was aware that infighting had wrecked the party’s electoral strength in the past. Noting the strength of Yeddyurappa, Shah nipped in the bud any scope for leadership confusion by backing him as the CM candidate. To deny the Congress any leeway to point out at dynasty politics, Shah denied ticket to Yeddyurappa's son.

Though the BJP built the campaign around corruption, Shah gave pre-eminence to the winnability factor and did not shy away from fielding candidates with tainted images. He reserved Modi for the fag end campaigning to swing fence-sitters in BJP’s favour. Adopting intensive campaign strategies, Shah unleashed over 300 rallies and 100 road-shows to mobilise the cadre for connecting with the people. 

When it came to agrarian distress, Shah reached out to farmers for consultations and came up with loan waiver sop and other promises. By reaching out to Mutts and religious leaders, Shah attempted to make inroads in the Vokkaliga votebank, besides protecting the Lingayata vote base in the state. “How much of work he (Shah) has done in Karnataka is for all to see,” Modi asserted.


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  • Arun

    We acknowledge the master strategy of Mr. Amit Shah. We also have lament that he does not have any ethics in his strategy. Divisive politics - that is what he plays with money and muscle power. So much of money is spent in every election and ready to buy MLAs and MPs with the money collected during demonetization. When the political parties do not want to disclose the sources from which they get they hide too many things.
    4 years ago reply
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