Journalist turned BJP strategist Swapan Dasgupta, who had an inside track on the BJP campaign in Karnataka, writes about how the BJP learnt from and implemented the findings of an opinion poll commissioned by Arun Jaitley:
“There were four major findings of the poll. First, it suggested that the BJP was likely to hover around the 90- to 100-seat level, mainly on the strength of its clear lead over the Congress in rural Karnataka. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, the Congress was significantly ahead of the BJP in urban Karnataka, particularly Bangalore.
“Third, that H.D. Deve Gowda‘s hold over the Old Mysore regions was unaffected but the Janata Dal (S) had slipped in other parts of Karnataka. Finally, the poll indicated that S.M. Krishna in the Congress and B.S. Yediyurappa in the BJP had strong popular support for their chief ministerial ambitions.
“The BJP acted on the findings of the poll: it announced Yediyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate, it went out of its way to recruit and promote Vokkaliga leaders who could tap into crumbling JD(S) bases outside Old Mysore and firmed up its organisational machinery in urban Karnataka, particularly Bangalore.
The Congress, on the other hand….
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