Determined to create a 'Congress free' India and dethrone the ruling grand old party in the southern state of Karnataka, the BJP poll strategists are gradually giving a spin to hardcore Hindutva politics and highlighting 'core issues' like involvement of local Muslims in alleged 'Jehadi' activities.
BJP campaign strategy back at highlighting hardcore Hindutva issues
While no much publicity is being given to such a campaign, the saffron party poll managers actively supported by the RSS, are highlighting the 'appeasement' policies of the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as the state government has withdrawn nearly 200 cases filed against the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
"The door to door outreach programmes are very helpful in taking these messages. Over 1,600 criminals were allowed free exit from prisons and in a stark display of double standards, Rahul Gandhi is hopping temples," said a key party leader.
Along with this, the BJP booth level workers and district level workers are also talking about Bhatkal of North Kannada and Ullal of South Kannada emerging as neo-fertile grounds for "Islamic fundamentalism".
The BJP leaders are also highlighting the death of a youth Prashanth Poojary of Moodabidre - who was allegedly killed for working for cow protection and for taking on cow smugglers.
These missives also seemed to make some impact with several middle class shoppers and those who visited restaurants and eating outlets here readily echo these sentiments.
"The Hindu consolidation has to take place as both Congress and JD(S) are siding with minorities for right and wrong reasons. Bhatkal is an epicenter of terror activities as Riyaz and Yasin Bhatkal brothers were found to be involved in unwanted activities," alleges Shiv Prakash Poddar, a local resident.
These anti-Congress utterances only cheer up BJP workers who seem to realise that May 12 polls would certainly provide an insight into the fate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP in the general elections next year.
BJP sources do not conceal that keeping these issues in mind a five-day long Janasuraksha Yatra was brought out in coastal areas with the party leaders and enthusiastic crowd demanding ban on PFI and and also that some of the killings and "lynching cases" of the Hindu activists be handed over to the NIA.
There is also talk about the activities of Karnataka Forum for Dignity and how Islamic Jehadi teachings was spreading into coastal parts of Karnataka and in areas close to Kerala, BJP sources said.
"Rest all communities think of themselves. Muslim, Christians and others. But we Hindus do not. It is time we get our act together. If the candidate from any other party is not from my native village, I always vote for BJP.
The Hindu unity must be reflected," says Neel Kumar Hegde, a resident in Vasantnagar area in Bengaluru.
The BJP is also banking on the 'Narendra Modi factor' with a Union Minister and a prominent party leader from the state saying in Delhi last week, "Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet campaigned; once he starts visiting the state and addressing people, there will be pro-BJP tsunami everywhere".
However, there is a cautious line from a local hotelier at Thimmaiya Road vicinity who says, the BJP's assertion is probably more guided by optimism -- than on ground analysis.
Citizens in state capital Bengaluru speak highly of Mr Siddaramiah and laud his welfare schemes like Anna Bhagya, which offers free rice and subsidised lentils and and oil to the poorer section.