BJP's localisation efforts can be put like this:
- Instead of waiting for high-command's decision post-poll, BJP moved to clearly and unequivocally project B.S. Yedyurappa as chief ministerial candidate.
- Instead of raking up their original Saffron agenda, BJP in Karnataka took a dig at Mr.Karunanidhi for going ahead with Hogenakal project and showed courage that, it will stand up for issues affecting Kannadigas.
- Instead of their pet topic of hindutva & hindi, BJP talked about issues which are of importance to Kannada, Karnataka and Kannadiga. This included getting classical status for Kannada, employment opportunities for Kannadigas in Central Government organizations like railways, bridging the gap in development across the state and many more.
- The Kannada ad campaign by Sushma swaraj stuck a chord with the genaral public.
- Modi, whom millions of Gujaratis saw as embodying 'Gujarati asmita' and 'vibrant Gujarat' campaigned in Karnataka and BJP's campaign definitely took a lead from him and projected itself as a better regional player which can deliver on issues pertaining to Karnataka.
The lesson, therefore, is self-evident. even national elections are now no longer "national" in the conventional sense but a net result of elections in different states. In Karnataka's case, the BJP, which played like a true regional player reaped in rich dividends, while the other national party which looked at high-command for everything till the last moment has bitten the dust. Any national party which dreams of making it big at the center must sit down and take notice about the growing "regionalisation" of national politics. The party or coalition which has the best regional leader & which addresses the issues relevant to the state will win.
BJP, the party which always considered linguistic diversity as a hurdle to progress, a hurdle to unity has come a long way and has realized the importance of localisation. BJP's victory in Karnataka has thought a lesson to all the national parties that unity is practiced by way of upholding diversity as opposed to destroying it.