SHIMOGA: After the thumping victory of BJP candidates in the state, political observers and Opposition parties are analysing and introspecting on the reasons that contributed to the victory of BJP candidates in some pockets of the state.
There is a consensus that the BJP got many more seats due to the influence of the Modi wave in the country. Apart from the Modi wave, there are a few other factors which contributed to the high victory margin in some districts.
The disillusionment of areca growers played a major role in four areca growing districts of Shimoga, Udupi-Chikmagalur, Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada for the drubbing received by the Congress. Rumours of an areca ban during the UPA government and the reported submission of an affidavit to the Supreme Court created a furore among areca growers of these districts. This turned areca farmers against the Congress and helped the BJP.
The BJP had taken up this issue right since the start of its campaign in rural areas. Interestingly, though nothing concrete was done by the UPA government to ban areca, the BJP district and taluk level leaders had succeeded in convincing the people of these districts that the UPA government itself had filed the affidavit in the Supreme Court to ban areca. Unfortunately, by the time the Congress came to know this, the situation was out of control, and they failed to provide the documents to prove the contrary.
Areca growers were suspicious about the Chikmagalur-Udupi Lok Sabha member Jayaprakash Hegde. Though he had informed the people that he would place the documents related to the areca ban allegations before the people, he never kept his promise.
In the last stage of campaigning, he could not present the documents due to the poll code of conduct.
This went against the Congress.
Narendra Modi had said there was no proposal of banning gutkha in Gujarat as of now.
This statement was publicised during the campaigning, and this increased the confidence of areca growers.
In fact, the areca growers voted for BJP candidates as they believed in a bright future under Narendra Modi. All these developments led areca growers to support the BJP during these elections, said areca grower Guruprasad.
Another areca farmer Gajanana Bhat attributed the Congress candidates’ debacle to the rumour of an areca ban, despite the government’s assurance of coming to the rescue of areca farmers.