With the Janata Dal (Secular) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance in Karnataka, the BSP leadership in the state has received a big shot in the arm. BSP's young and senior leaders alike have put them into campaigning mode ahead of elections in May.
OneIndia visited Anekal assembly constituency to give you a peek into what's going on in booth levels ahead of the hotly contested elections.
'Iss deshaki majaboori hai, Behenji Mayawati zaroori hai' ( This country needs Behenji Mayawati). This song was played at the beginning of the booth level meeting. Many such songs, written and sung by Bahujan songs, are played to boost the morale of BSP cadres in gram panchayat areas.
Also, the cadres pay an ode to 12th-century social reformer Basavanna venerating his struggle to unite society divided along caste lines. (Irony: Bahujans are praising Basavanna, one the other hand a separate religion is being propagated in his name in Karnataka)
How is booth level meeting organised?
Two young men Dr Srinivas Gunadappa and Dr Hariram are micro-managing booth level meetings/ training across Karnataka. Srinivas is BSP South Karnataka in-charge and Hariram is in-charge of North Karnataka division.
During his address to cadres, Srinivas focuses on the contribution of Dr BR Ambedkar to Indian democracy, his fight for the right to votes. He targets the Congress and the BJP governments for failing to implement constitution in letter and spirit. After brief historical background, he touched upon recent political and economic developments in the country. Mainly, effects of demonetization and GST on the common man figured in his speech.
In the final segment, the speaker will touch upon local social and educational issues. Local leaders further discuss local development issue and incomplete promises by the incumbent leader.
After the announcement of an alliance with the JD (S), now BSP has put its might into 20 constituencies. According to BSP leadership, 10 constituencies are very strong among 20. The party has e established committees in three tiers: 1. Assembly 2. Village Panchayat and 3. Booth level.
For instance, there are 320 booths in Anekal assembly constituency. In one booth alone, the BSP has trained 20 cadres and each one of them being told to secure 20 votes. Around 4000 cadres have been trained in Anekal assembly in this way. At the higher level, full-fledged assembly committee monitors the booth level activities. A similar pattern is being followed across the state.
Srinivas, who is active in Anekal for the last seven years, claims that in Anekal, Gundlupet, Kollegal, Chamarajnagar (South Karnataka region), JDS is extending their support to the BSP. Hence, the party has high hopes on these four seats which has a substantial presence of Vokkaliga votes.
The booth meeting is incomplete without mentioning HD Kumaraswamy as future Chief Minister of the state. "HD Kumaraswamy ( Kumaranna ) will be the CM and BSP candidates will be ministers in his cabinet", echoes in the meeting.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|