New Delhi: The BJP has started gearing up for the fast-approaching assembly elections in Karnataka.
BJP National president J P Nadda on February 4 appointed Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as the party’s in-charge for the state. The BJP is in power in Karnataka, and elections are due by April-May this year.
A party communique from Arun Singh also said that the BJP president for Tamil Nadu, A Annamalai, will be a co-in charge of the elections.
The saffron party expects stiff competition in Karnataka, where the Congress and JD(S) will be two other rival players.
In the 2018 polls, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party, but when the Deve Gowda family’s Congress and JD(S) came together, the dynamics changed.
However, BJP came to power on July 29 when some MLAs extended support to the saffron party under the leadership of B S Yediyurappa. In 2021 (July 21), Basavaraj Bommai took charge.
In 2023, the assembly elections are due in nine states and are seen as a semi-final before the next year’s big battle vis-a-vis parliamentary polls.
Observers say various say, including issues related to terrorism and ways to fight the menace, will figure prominently in Karnataka polls.
Home Minister Amit Shah has recently hit out at the Congress, saying Siddaramaiah, who served as the Chief Minister of the state from 2013 to 2018, withdrew cases against the now-banned Islamist outfit Popular Front of India.
He said it was only after BJP came into power in the state that PFI was banned and its leaders arrested.
The Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliate organisations have been declared an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The Islamist outfit, which draws inspiration from Wahabi school of thought in Islam, has been accused of raising funds, from both India and abroad, through hawala and donations as part of a “well-crafted criminal conspiracy”. “With funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country,”.