Modi as BJP’s mascot is poll strategy: P Muralidhar Rao | Karnataka Lok Sabha Election News

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P Muralidhar Rao, BJP national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, says the move to seek votes in the name of Prime Minister Modi and project him as the party’s singular mascot is not about political ideology, but a poll strategy driven by the singular objective of winning elections. In an interview, Rao asserted that his party will improve its tally from 17 seats in the state and cross the 20 marks. Excerpts:

Your confidence seems to be stemming from euphoria on the surface. Have you tried to gauge the magnitude of anti-incumbency?

Our rivals want to believe that there is an anti-Modi undercurrent, but it’s not true. The popularity of the prime minister has grown manifold since 2014 when the Modi wave swept the country. The question is can we improve further when we have already peaked in northern India. The answer is: We will repeat our performance and retain the numbers.


Don’t you think the BJP is over-dependent on Modi?

The decision to fight elections under Modi and present him as our face is a well-thought-out poll strategy. It is not about ideology, but a tactical move aimed at winning comfortably.

How can you be so confident when the BJP has failed to gain ground in southern states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala in these five years?

We are well established in Karnataka where we are sure of winning more than 20 of the 28 seats. It takes time for BJP to gain ground in Tamil Nadu and Kerala as the two states are completely different from Karnataka in terms of political culture.

You were also in c Tamil Nadu. The B apparently attempt politics in the state piggyback on the AIADMK


What we are doing in Tamil Nadu is not pro-politics. We have found a natural all in the AIADMK. am saying that AIADMK is our natural ally since it has similar sensibilities like the BJP, unlike the DMK which is anti-Hindu. For Tamil Nadu, our strategy is to promote nationalism in tune with Tamil identity and pride.

Also, the BJP seemed to have messed up in Kerala…

No, in Kerala nothing went wrong. The BJP is with people who are feeling hurt about dealing with the issue of Sabarimala. This time, we will improve our vote share in Kerala to touch 20% mark.


Modi’s comment that Rahul Gandhi found Wayanad safe since minority votes are dominant there appears to have miffed people of Kerala…

Modi stated the obvious. Out of fear of losing in Amethi, Rahul fled to Wayanad.

With BS Yeddyurappa set to be moved out, the BJP is staring at a leadership crisis Karnataka post-Lok Sabha polls…

At present we are just focusing on the Lok Sabha elections with the sole objective of bringing Modi back. We don’t want to be distracted at this age. We will cross the bridge when we get there.



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