Gujarat secured. Himachal Pradesh wrested. The BJP has shifted its focus, strategising for Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Karnataka where elections will take place next year.The party believes that a dip in groundnut prices, which cost it dearly in Gujarat’s rural pockets, will help it in Congress-ruled Karnataka, where it has been highlighting “no steps” taken by the Siddaramaiah government to compensate farmers.”In Gujarat, we had assured farmers that the entire produce will be bought by February, and prices have only dipped marginally. In Karnataka, the Congress is doing nothing to restore groundnut prices or buy the produce from farmers. It will be a major issue during the Assembly polls there,” said a Union Minister, who declined to be named.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally in Karnataka on January 28, concluding a 75-day Nav Karnataka Nirman Parivartan Yatra. Undertaken by the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, BS Yeddyurappa, it was launched by party chief Amit Shah. Modi is expected to attack the “failure and corruption” in Siddaramaiah.Modi also made a brief stopover in Mangalore on Monday, which was interpreted as a message that Karnataka is next on the radar.BJP leaders insisted that the party is serious about making a concerted bid to wrest Karnataka, which is the gateway to South India. Karnataka was incidentally the first Southern state to witness a lotus bloom in 2008. The BJP’s poll in-charge for Karnataka, Prakash Javadekar, will visit the state for four days from December 23 to December 26. Meanwhile, Modi visited Mizoram and Meghalaya last week and inaugurated various development projects.He also inaugurated a new BJP Meghalaya unit office there.The BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast and has set up a North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016.Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will go to the polls in February 2018, and later in the year in October, elections will take place in Mizoram.The BJP is looking at adding all three states to its tally. The BJP has already sent in research teams in the three states. The Congress, on the other hand, is up for a tough contest in an effort to save its presence in the region.In Tripura, both parties are in for a tough contest against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) whose Manik Sarkar has had an uncontested run for the last 19 years. While the BJP will focus on development in the state where over 65% of the people live below the poverty line, the Congress’s poll pitch will be inclusive development to woo the tribal vote.In Meghalaya, apart from the Jaintia vote bank, the BJP will focus on wooing Christians. Modi has focused on scams. In contrast, the BJP has allies in the Nagaland, where it will face severe attacks on the Naga Peace Framework, and face questions on the territorial integrity of neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Mizoram.Battles aheadThe BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast and has set up a North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016. Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will go to the polls in Feb 2018, and later in the year, Mizoram will go to polls

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Focus shifts to Karnataka and Northeast polls