Bengaluru: Unlike Gujarat, where it had to rely heavily on three young leaders, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani to put up a decent fight against the well-oiled poll machinery of the BJP, the Congress is more equipped in terms of resources and has no dearth of leaders to contest the 2018 Assembly polls in Karnataka.
"The party has already picked up pace by organising programmes like Mane-Manege Congress and almost completing the process of forming committees in nearly 54,000 of the 56000 booths in the state. The Congress is better equipped here unlike in Gujarat, where its party apparatus itself was non-existent," said a senior party leader.
Besides, the party has leaders, who can match the popularity of the BJP's, he points out. If the BJP has its state chief, B. S. Yeddyurappa as its mascot, the ruling party has its own mascots like Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, KPCC president, Dr G. Parameshwara, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, M. Mallikarjuna Kharge, and Energy minister, D. K. Shivakumar, he notes. "When it comes to urban areas we have leaders like Dinesh Gundu Rao and Krishna Byregowda. Whereas in Gujarat, except for AICC president, Rahul Gandhi, we did not have a credible state level leadership. So it would be naive to compare Gujarat with Karnataka. Here we can fight the BJP man-to-man," the Congress leader asserted.
Pointing out that the party can take on the BJP on issues too , he says that if it relies too heavily on hardcore Hindutva as it is doing already, the party will focus on regional sentiments using pro-Kannada issues to counter it.
Moreover, he believes that since taking charge of Karnataka, AICC general secretary, K. C. Venugopal has succeeded in infusing confidence and enthusiasm among party workers here to prepare for the 2018 polls....