BENGALURU: With the national leaders of the BJP looking at Karnataka with a focus on the 2023 Assembly polls, the Congress has embarked on a series of surveys to pick the right, winnable candidates. The Karnataka Congress, which has kick-started a digital membership drive, is targeting 50 lakh members by the end of March. KPCC president DK Shivakumar has also been touring the state, monitoring the drive to ensure a good number of members. However, party sources reveal that it has not been up to the mark. In many constituencies, party workers have been given goodies to get more numbers.
Sources added that those who are able to get more than 10 members through the digital membership drive are eligible for secondary membership, and will be allowed to vote and elect office-bearers. “The party is also developing a mobile app through which those who have received secondary membership can offer feedback and also vote for candidates who wish to contest the 2023 Assembly polls on a Congress ticket,” they mentioned.
Meanwhile, both Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief DK Shivakumar are gearing up for separate local surveys through private agencies. At present, there are 69 Congress MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly, with the grand old party eyeing 130-140 seats in 2023. Sources from Siddaramaiah’s office said they are conducting a survey at non-Congress constituencies, where there are aspirants.
“In case there are many aspirants, the survey will help us find the best among them, and one who has a good connect with the people, ultimately garnering more votes,” sources said. Survey will also focus on Congress MLA constituencies, where they will be looking at the party’s position. Shivakumar too will start a survey in April through a private agency.
According to Congress leaders, they want to finalise the list of candidates at least six months before the polls, so that these candidates will have enough time to work at the grassroots and get votes. BJP is the ruling party in the State and at the Centre. Apart from a host of Union Ministers, the Prime Minister is also likely to keenly focus on Karnataka, as the state goes to polls. While the Congress has a tough contest at hand, the party is eyeing Karnataka as the hope for a resurgence.