The biggest takeaway from the Congress’s emphatic win in the Karnataka assembly elections is that the party needs to start early for any polls and put in extra hard work, a political campaign strategist who worked closely with state unit chief DK Shivakumar said on Monday. Speaking to news agency PTI, Naresh Arora, head of the political campaign management company DesignBoxed, highlighted Congress’s sustained campaign for two-and-a-half years helped percolate its message to the public, especially the party’s ‘guarantee’ pitch. (Also Read | DK Shivakumar says ‘I am single-man majority’ ahead of Karnataka CM decision)
“Here the campaign was started two-and-a-half years before elections… the lesson is that one needs to be amongst the people 24X7 for 365 days. It cannot be that two months prior to the election, you go and think that people will be acknowledging you, it does not happen like that,” Arora told PTI when he was asked about the biggest takeaway from the polls for the Congress.
“Especially a party like the Congress which has been on the back foot, needs to do extra hard work which I think was done in Karnataka, which is the biggest takeaway,” he added.
Arora conceptualised several of the party’s campaigns in the run up to the May 10 assembly polls and has also run other campaigns for the Congress in the past. Congress won 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka assembly, while the BJP and the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19 seats, respectively.
Hailing the Congress’ guarantee pitch, the campaign strategist said the party could not succeed in Assam as the promises could not percolate to the people due to the lack of time.
“It takes time for people to understand what is being told…Guarantee means going beyond commitment. The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) took it to Punjab and used it successfully, now it worked in Karnataka,” he said.
The Congress promised 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), ₹2,000 monthly assistance to woman heads of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of BPL households (Anna Bhagya), ₹3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youths and ₹1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (Yuva Nidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti).
While the election results have paved the way for a Congress government in Karnataka, the power tussle for chief ministership between former CM Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar is still on. Arora said he was sure that a decision on the chief ministership will be arrived at in consultation with Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar.
“I am not a stakeholder in this process. I know that the Congress has gone through its tried and tested formula of one-line resolution and talking to the MLAs. I am pretty sure that the decision will be arrived at in consultation with both the senior leaders,” Arora told PTI.