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IANS

After the party won four out of five states in the recent assembly polls, the BJP has started preparations for the Karnataka assembly polls scheduled mid next year. The party is working on 'Mission 150+' for the assembly polls in 2023.

Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the southern state to take stock of the preparations and asked the party cadre to hit the ground running to achieve 'Mission 150+'. It is learnt that Shah has given specific work to be completed and said that more will be assigned in the future.

"Elections will be held next year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji's ‘naam' and ‘kaam' (name and work) is everywhere in the country and the state government is also doing good work. We will definitely achieve our 'Mission150+'. Amit (Shah) bhai ji has given certain directions to the state unit on how we should work on the ground. The state unit executes the directions on the ground. We will contest the Karnataka election on Prime Minister Modi's name and work and the work of the BJP government in the state. We will again come to power for sure," C T Ravi, BJP national general secretary and member Karnataka assembly, told IANS.

After witnessing how the 'labharthi' (beneficiaries) of the government schemes voted, which was apparently one of the major factors for the return of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, the Karnataka BJP is also planning to reach out to them.

"Around 60 percent of Karnataka's population is a beneficiary of one or the other schemes of the central or state governments. We have started working on converting this huge chunk of population into our voters. BJP workers and leaders are working to win the support of the ‘labharthi' in next year's election," Ravi said.

The saffron party has already started working on social engineering and identifying strong local leaders.

During his recent visit to Karnataka, Shah attended the 115th birth anniversary celebrations of late Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt.

The Siddaganga Mutt is an important religious centre of the Lingayat community in the state.

The visit by Shah, insiders said, was part of a confidence building and social outreach exercise aimed to remove any misgivings in the Lingayat community after the party replaced BS Yediyurappa with B S Bommai as the chief minister in Karnataka.

Lingayats constitute close to 17 percent of Karnataka's population and Yediyurappa is considered one of the tallest leaders of the community.

The Karnataka BJP had also started a ‘Jan Swaraj Yatra' with four teams led by senior party leaders Yediyurappa, K S Eshwarappa, Jagadish Shettar and Nalin Kumar Kateel to mobilise the workers.

"He (Yediyurappa) is still capable. He has given complete yogdaan to the party. The party will make full use of his political acumen. He is making all efforts to ensure the BJP wins the assembly elections," said Ravi.

Dismissing the claims of the Congress that the party will be able to come to power this time, Ravi said it will meet the same fate it did in Uttar Pradesh. "Some Congress leaders are day-dreaming but they won't be able to come to power in 2023."

Last year, after months of speculation about a change of guard in Karnataka, the BJP replaced party veteran Yediyurappa and made Bommai the chief minister of the state.

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