Home india-news In Bagalkote, migrant voters key challenge for parties | Latest News India

In Bagalkote, migrant voters key challenge for parties | Latest News India

0
In Bagalkote, migrant voters key challenge for parties | Latest News India

[ad_1]

Bagalkot: Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Bagalkote, the district best known as the resting place of poet-philosopher Basavanna, have a unique problem. In Bagalkote city, one of the eight assembly segments in the district, the party’s Veerabhadrayya Charantimath defeated the Congress’ Meti Hullappa Yamanappa by a margin of 15,934 votes in 2018. This time too, Veeranna, as he is popularly called, is the BJP candidate, and he is up against the Congress’ Hullappa Y. Meti.

Although the BJP was the single largest party in the 2018 assembly, the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) cobbled together a post-poll alliance to form the government (PTI)
Although the BJP was the single largest party in the 2018 assembly, the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) cobbled together a post-poll alliance to form the government (PTI)

While the eponymous Lok Sabha constituency – it is roughly congruent with the district – is a BJP stronghold and has been with the party since 2004, the same cannot be said of the city. Nor of the seven other assembly segments in the district (five are with the BJP). Margins are slim (sometimes barely thousands) . In 2013, for instance, the Congress won the seat by a margin of a little less than 3000 votes; and in 2008, the BJP won by around 9000 votes. Every vote counts – and that is the source of concern for BJP’s district Vice president Raju Revankar.

He has a problem on his hands – migrant workers from the district who head off to lucrative jobs in southern Karnataka. And he has to ensure that most of them are back home by May 10 to vote. By his estimate, around 10,500 workers from the district are in southern Karnataka. “We have already booked buses and bought them train tickets. Our only concern is low polling.”

When the workers do not return to vote, many times, their families, who have stayed behind, do not too. “ In our campaign too, we are emphasizing on family members coming together to vote,” says Revankar.

He is confident that all of them will vote for the BJP. “They are Lingayats,” he adds, referring to the most dominant community in the state, and one that has traditionally voted for the BJP – except in 2013, when BS Yeddiyurappa’s exit from the BJP resulted in them abandoning the party. The Congress won that election easily – a rarity in a state where elections are usually close (one of the last four) or throw up hung assemblies (two of the last four).

In the eight seats, which have a significant number of Kurubas, a backward caste to which Congress leader Siddaramaiah belongs, and Muslims, it is usually the votes of the migrant workers, that decides who wins. The BJP has also enlisted ‘Page Pramukhs’—whose jobs is to get all names listed in a page of the Voters’ List to come and vote. “In one page has names of 30 voters. We have already appointed 3900 Page Pramukhs,” says Revenkar. Voter turnout, he adds, is key.

Ironically, the Congress too, is equally busy trying to ensure higher voting. “We have also entrusted our workers to help traditional Congress voters to come to the polling booth. We will have vans, cars, two-wheelers ready by May 9,” says Ramesh Patil, a member of the campaign committee of the district. The Congress leader added their focus remains on the minorities, Kurubas, SC, ST and Panchamasali Lingayat voters. “Our task is to ensure more people vote in the poll.”

Both parties also expect young first time voters in the district (around 11,000 according to Revankar) to vote for the BJP. The reason: “Modi”, he says referring to PM Narendra Modi. But Congress leader Ashok Lamani argues that young Kannadigas will look at local leaders “not those sitting in Delhi.”

On Wednesday, just about a kilometre from the centre of Bagalkote city, former CM and Congress stalwart Siddaramaiah (he won from the Badami constituency in the district in 2018) addressed an enthusiastic crowd. He spent most of his time attacking the Bommai government, reiterating the corruption charges and underling how “this is an illegitimate government that has come through the backdoor.” Although the BJP was the single largest party in the 2018 assembly, the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) cobbled together a post-poll alliance to form the government. However, the defection of Congress leaders to the BJP caused the coalition to collapse and the BJP formed the government.

Siddaramaiah’s appeal is directed at the Kurubas but also at the Muslims. Quoting PM Modi’s Sab ka sath sab ka vikas slogan he asks, “If this is the mantra, they why did the BJP didn’t give any ticket to Muslims?”

“I told the DC (of Bagalkot),” he tells the crowd, “ if you listen only to the BJP candidate, remember, I am coming to power!”


[ad_2]

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here