How Siddaramaiah's TV interview may have changed Congress' fortunes in Karnataka
A pre-poll survey has predicted a massive win for the Congress in Karnataka assembly elections. A television interview of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah may have just played a massive role in turning public sentiment favourable to him and in turn the Congress.
Premchand Palety, executive chief of C fore, the research organisation that conducted the pre-poll survey said that Siddaramaiah's interview to a Kannada infotainment channel was a massive hit. "Siddaramaiah is emerging as a very big leader. His image is getting a huge boost. While the anti-Hindi or pro-Kannada stand worked wonders for the Congress, a television interview that the Chief Minister gave had a massive impact. It turned public sentiment positive towards him," said Premchand Palety.
Siddaramaiah appeared on a talk show, 'Weekend with Ramesh' on a private Kannada channel. This was Siddaramaiah's first tryst with cosying up to the media. The move has definitely boosted his prospects as well as that of his party's. "The interview was organised with a specific view to bring about a change in the perception and image etc. Siddaramaiah's interview had too many political overtones. It might have played its own role in influencing fence-sitters to support the Congress. It was well planned and timed but it was hypocritical of the Congress to raise a hue and cry when Jaggesh, a BJP leader appeared on the show," said Suresh Kumar, BJP leader and former Karnataka Law Minister.
The Congress, however, is unwilling to give the credit to this interview. "I do not think the interview mattered to the party. Yes, the Cheif Minister's personal image may have received positive boost but I believe that the party has done a lot for the public to turn favourable to us. Our outreach has been huge, our programs have been people-friendly and we have catered to the poorest of Karnataka," said Congress acting President, Dinesh Gundu Rao.
The surveyors are of the opinion that public sentiment towards the Congress turned favourable only in the last three or four months. "We were, in fact, a little surprised with the results. But the change in perception and positivity for the Congress has come about only over the last three months. The Chief Minister's persona has a lot to do with it," Palety added.