Karnataka Congress plan: Win booths, win poll

Bengaluru: Taking a leaf from the BJP’s poll strategy of appointing ‘Panna Pramukhs’ in all booths, the Karnataka Congress on Tuesday spelt out its counter strategy of putting senior leaders of  the party in charge of polling booths where he or she will have to ensure the maximum number of votes for the party in the forthcoming Assembly polls in April/May.

Speaking to reporters after a day-long meeting with block level and booth level leaders here, KPCC president, Dr G. Parameshwar and AICC general secretary, K.C. Venugopal asserted that the party's new programme- Namma Kshetra Namma Hone (Our Area Our Responsibility) – would be launched on Feb. 5 to enthuse booth level workers in the state. "In all 57,000 booths, we will have leaders, be it Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah or Congress party leader in Lok Sabha  Mallikarjun Kharge, taking the responsibility of the booth where they generally cast their vote. This is not just about leaders like Mr Kharge or Mr Siddaramaiah alone, in each booth there will be our leaders like Gram Panchayat or Taluk Panchayat members who will be made in-charge of a booth where their vote is registered and will be given the responsibility of ensuring the party gets maximum votes in that  booth. Thus, we want to beat factors like anti-incumbency or votes getting split due to participation of fringe parties in the elections," the leaders explained.

According to them, the party will also conduct periodic consultations  with booth level workers to train them in how Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) function. "There have been a lot of murmurs about EVMs malfunctioning and  to equip our booth level workers, we will conduct periodic consulting meetings with experts to show them how the EVMs function," Mr Venugopal disclosed.

Dr Parameshwar revealed that the party also discussed the importance of booth level workers being part of the social media bandwagon. "Be it Whatsapp groups or social media websites, booth level workers need to be trained and inducted into these groups as it will be easier for the party to monitor their activities," the  KPCC president explained.

Dr Parameshwar also asserted that the party will always practise ‘Inclusive Hindutva’ and not adopt a  soft Hindutva or hardcore Hindutva view.

He said,  "Let the BJP continue to pursue  their divisive agenda by organising Gau Havana or conducting religious rituals. We are not bothered about their agenda. However, we in the Congress will practice Inclusive Hindutva to counter them.”

Jarkiholi sulks, Congress tries to placate him
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah along with KPCC president Dr G. parameshwar  and AICC general secretary, K.C. Venugopal held a consultation with AICC secretary, Satish Jarkiholi who is apparently miffed with his brother and minister Ramesh Jarkiholi's interference in Belagavi district affairs.

After his fallout with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his exit from the state Cabinet, Mr Satish has been complaining that Mr Ramesh had been interfering too much in Belagavi district affairs, hence, his powers must be curtailed.

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