The BJP has decided to make a sustained effort to destabilise the Janata Dal Secular-Congress government in Karnataka and snap the alliance before next year’s Lok Sabha polls, party sources said.
They added that the party had been emboldened by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s support for party president Amit Shah’s unsuccessful bid to form the government in Karnataka.
Party insiders said the BJP would not immediately go all out to poach JDS or Congress MLAs ahead of the trust vote that chief minister-designate H.D. Kumaraswamy would have to seek in the Assembly.
They would instead try to get the job done before the general election, due next summer.
Party sources said that if the Congress-JDS alliance continued amicably till the Lok Sabha polls, their combined strength could inflict serious electoral damage on the BJP in Karnataka.
“This unholy alliance will not continue. We are certain that it will collapse by the Lok Sabha polls,” a BJP insider said.
Sangh sources said they found nothing wrong in the BJP’s efforts to form the government in the state but conceded that the poaching scandal had harmed the BJP’s claim to being a “party with a difference”.
“It’s clear that the popular mandate was for the BJP. The party, however, should have handled the issue more carefully,” a Sangh official said.
He said the audiotapes released by the Congress had led to a perception that the BJP was trying to buy off MLAs. “This perception may harm the BJP.”
The cover story in the weekly publication Organiser, widely believed to be the Sangh’s mouthpiece, said the BJP’s “success” in Karnataka reflected a major foray in the south and symbolised a defeat for the “divisive politics” of the Congress.
The editorial said: “The chemistry of the Modi magic and the arithmetic built by party president Amit Shah on the ground proved to be the biggest asset for the party. The nationalist party could perform well even in the traditionally weaker areas.”
Confident that differences would surface soon between the Congress and the JDS, the BJP has asked its grassroots activists to reach out to the people and expose the “unholy alliance”.
“Local party leaders and the cadres have been asked to run an aggressive campaign among the people,” a BJP source said.
“We are sure the people will take revenge by voting for the BJP in large numbers in the Lok Sabha polls.’