Annamalai overseeing BJP’s poll campaign in Karnataka is a long-term strategy | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

His appointment is not surprising given his stint as a police officer in the state. But there are other factors, most of them to do with the vision the party high command has for Annamalai, say party insiders.

Ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka, BJP appointed former IPS officer K Annamalai as one of the leaders in charge of the party’s campaign in the state. His appointment did not come as a surprise given his stint as a police officer in the state. But there are other factors at play, most of them to do with the vision the party high command has for Annamalai, say party insiders.

For starters, Annamalai has impressed the party leaders with his aggression in a state seen to be hostile to BJP. Not only has he managed to drive the conversation on BJP in a state where it is a minor partner but has also gotten the party space in the media. “It does not matter too much if the publicity we are getting is positive or negative. In a state like Tamil Nadu, getting this kind of space shows that people are taking BJP seriously now. And Annamalai is primarily responsible for this,” a BJP leader said. A belligerent Annamalai is often seen taking on not just ideological or political rivals in the state but even engaging with a large section of the media considered unsympathetic to the BJP. “The party leaders think that if he can do this in Tamil Nadu, then he can do much more in a state like Karnataka,” the leader added.

BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu say that the cadre in the state has been motivated since Annamalai took over the party. And they hope he will bring the same momentum to Karnataka, a state where BJP has a much larger presence, ahead of the elections.

Annamalai is a 2011 batch IPS officer and began his stint in Karnataka in the volatile Udupi district. He joined as the Assistant Superintendent of Police for the Karkala sub-division and was later promoted as Superintendent of Police for the Udupi district. He then served as the SP of Chikkamagalur, another communally sensitive district. His last posting was in Bengaluru city, where he served as a Deputy Commissioner of Police before resigning in 2019.

During his six-year tenure in the state, he made many friends – politicians, journalists and influencers. And the BJP is hoping that these contacts will prove to be useful now. In addition to this, he has been visiting the state often and knows the BJP leaders and karyakartas well enough that he does not need to spend time familiarising himself before work begins. He speaks Kannada fluently, which will be of great help in the next few months.

Even in the past, BJP has deputed leaders from south Indian states to manage election campaigns in other neighbouring states. For example, Karnataka Minister CN Ashwathnarayan and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi were sent to Kerala in 2021. National general secretary CT Ravi is in charge of Tamil Nadu BJP. So Annamalai’s appointment is in sync with this trend.

So when Tamil Nadu faces elections next, his Karnataka experience will be invaluable for Annamalai, a new political entrant, to manage a large state like Tamil Nadu.

But the long-term plan for Annamalai includes a prominent role on the national stage and this is a good way for the high command to test the waters. So the combative Annamalai became a consensus candidate, endorsed by all senior leaders, including Karnataka strongman BL Santhosh, national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

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Azad Times.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a Syndicated Feed and has not been created or edited By Azad Times Staff.

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