This article appeared in The New Indian Express –

BENGALURU: The heat of poll battle in Bihar has touched Bengaluru too with BJP launching a massive exercise to reach out to the large Bihari population in the city.

With Union minister and Bengaluru South MP Ananth Kumar being given charge of the BJP poll campaign in Bihar, the party strategists held a convention of Biharis in the city on Sunday.

Ananth Kumar addressed the gathering of over 200 Bihari volunteers over phone from Patna and exhorted people from Bihar, who are residing in Bengaluru, to go and vote for the party in the Assembly election, which will be held in five phases.

“Like non-resident Indians (NRI), you are all non-resident Biharis and you are capable of bringing in the change in Bihar and vote for the development of Bihar guided by Prime Minister Modi.

“You should not only come to Bihar and vote, but reach out to all your fellow Biharis to vote for the NDA by using SMS and social media,” he said and expressed confidence of NDA getting a two-thirds majority in the Bihar assembly.

“Bengaluru is developed and that’s why you came here from Bihar. Now Modi wants Bihar to develop rapidly with a central package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore and other investments of Rs 40,000 crore which will bring a phenomenal change in Bihar. The Ultra Mega Power Project in Banka and revival of fertilizer plant in Barauni at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore will help Bihar march ahead,” Ananth Kumar said.

BJP Bengaluru city president Subba Narasimha told Express that a separate call centre will be opened in Bengaluru in a day or two by the party to make calls to at least 50,000 Biharis in the city and explain the need to go and vote, and why they need to vote for the BJP.

The call centre will have about 10 to 15 volunteers, who will each contact at least 100 voters daily, Narasimha added.

Bulk SMSes too would be sent to Biharis in the city, apart from an intensive campaign through social media.

“About 1.25 lakh Biharis live in the city and most of them are working as carpenters, painters and granite floor laying workers. We are gathering their contact details in a systematic way to reach out to them according to the constituency they hail from and the date of polling, as the election is being held in five phases,” Subba Narasimha said.