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Beyond Karnataka, BJP Looks Ahead To 2024

The national party BJP may be preoccupied with Karnataka as the polls there are proving a challenge despite Congress missteps like Malikarjun Kharge’s ‘snake’ comment. Opinion polls are favouring the Congress, so too do some internal surveys done by the contesting parties. But the BJP is looking ahead to 2024, towards which Maharashtra looms as its next big issue as the verdict on the Sena split is due soon and preparations are on in case Eknath Shinde’s rule is disrupted. With the Karnataka polls round the corner, BJP had been asked by Amit Shah to put Maharashtra operations on hold, much as the Congress had done with its Rajasthan problem. Meanwhile, the BJP tied up its alliance with Edappadi Palaniswami as he had offered 10 seats in all to BJP – 9 in Tamil Nadu plus Puducherry – while the AIADMK would fight most of the other 30 seats, subject to what it may have to part with for allies if the likes of PMK and TMC stay with it for the 2024 Lok Sabha pills. It appears EPS had chosen to ignore whatever the TN BJP chief Annamalai may have said about alliances because he was confident that any decision would be made by Amit Shah, who he met in New Delhi. He has also requested the Home Minister that the CBI be asked to take over the Kodanad estate probe as the DMK is said to be playing games through the police.