Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday set a target of 150 seats to Karnataka BJP leaders for 2023 assembly elections in the state, where the ruling party is eyeing a successive term. Shah attended the state BJP core committee meeting this evening, which also discussed induction of leaders from other political parties ahead of elections, and strengthening the organisation.
“The core committee discussed preparation for the next elections and organisational work. He has given us guidance to implement the action plan aimed at BJP winning 150 seats (in the 225 member assembly) in the next election. He has given us guidance about the preparations for next elections," state BJP President Nalin Kumar Kateel said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting here, he said discussions also happened regarding the organisation, expansion and formation of page committees on priority, among others.
“There has been no discussion regarding early elections in the state, polls will happen on time next year," he said, while in response to a question, added that people from other parties joining BJP is a “continuous process", and that discussions happened on it. There have been speculations for some time now, about the possibility of early assembly polls in the state.
Interestingly, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who was also in the city today, also set a target of 150 seats to his party’s state unit, in a bid to bring it back to power. Ruling out leadership (Chief Minister) change or any discussions on the issue at the core committee meeting, Kateel, regarding the much-awaited cabinet rejig said, it is left to the discretion of CM Basavaraj Bommai, who after consulting the national leadership will take a decision on the matter.
Asked if the hijab row, denial of permission to non-Hindu traders around temples, and halal issue were discussed, he only said deliberations happened on the current political developments. Other than Shah and Kateel, the core committee meeting was attended by Bommai, former Chief Ministers B S Yediyurappa and Jagadish Shettar, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP national general secretaries Arun Singh and C T Ravi, Ministers K S Eshwarappa, Sriramulu, C N Ashwath Narayan and Govind Karjol, among others.
Stating that Shah took stock of current political developments in the state, Ravi said, “last time (2018 elections) we got 104 seats, now it is 120 (after bypolls), we will have to cross 150 (in next election), so he (Shah) has given us certain guidance to do this, accordingly we will prepare a road map to win the election." He said the party will induct people from outside who have political strength and intention to serve the society, wherever necessary. “People from other parties are eager to join the BJP, the state president will form a team to look into this, whom to induct, and will take a decision," he added.