Udupi (The Hindu): Mattar Ratnakar Hegde, president, district unit, BJP, said on Wednesday that the party had created history by winning all five Assembly seats in Udupi district.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Hegde said that in the 2013 Assembly elections, the BJP had won only one out of the five seats in the district – that of Karkala. The Congress had won three – Udupi, Byndoor and Kaup, while Kundapur had gone to Halady Srinivas Shetty, who had contested as an Independent.
However, last year Mr. Shetty joined the BJP. Except for Kundapur and Karkala, which the party was confident that it would retain, it was a challenge to wrest the remaining three seats as Vinay Kumar Sorake was Minister for first three years in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet, then Mr. Madhwaraj was Minister for next two years. Congress leader Gopal Poojary from Byndoor was also the chairman of KSRTC. All had done work in their constituencies.
However, the BJP had put a strategy in place by constituting booth level committees and ‘page chiefs’ for the 2018 Assembly elections. Amit Shah, president, BJP, had addressed party workers on honing the strategy for campaigning. Mr. Shah had also addressed the BJP social media heads convention on effectively using social media. The party workers had worked hard to make a clean sweep in Udupi district. The BJP began strengthening its organisation after the 2013 Assembly elections.
The results were there to see as the party won the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru parliamentary seat by a margin of 1.8 lakh votes.
It had also retained Udupi Zilla Panchayat and came to power in all three taluk panchayats and a majority of the gram panchayats in the district in the subsequent elections.
The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Udupi on May 1, 2018, was a turning point in the campaign as the workers got enthused. Even though the candidates for Udupi and Kaup seats were announced late for 2018 Assembly polls, Mr. Modi’s visit made all the difference. The party’s margin of victory was convincing in all five constituencies.
Now, the party is not resting on its laurels. It has begun preparations for the Legislative Council elections for graduates’ and teachers’ constituencies.
It is making a plan to win in 30 out of the 35 municipal wards in elections for Udupi City Municipal Council scheduled for September. The party was also drawing up a strategy to retain the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru seat in the next parliamentary elections, Mr. Hegde said.
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