Ahead of the general elections next year, senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday urged his party cadres in Karnataka to strengthen their presence in every poll booth."It is a booth-wise election ahead, which is why the party needs our people in every booth. We (Congress) must have enough people with feet on every booth," Chidambaram said addressing party members here.The senior Congress leader was in the city to launch the party's "Shakti" app to strengthen the party cadres in the state by connecting them across each booth, village, town and district in Karnataka.Of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in the southern state, the Congress had won nine seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 17 and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) two in the 2014 general election.The mobile phone-based project aims to build a direct link between the party's booth-level workers and its senior leadership. A party worker can enroll himself/herself on the platform by registering through their voter card number.
A few months ago, party President Rahul Gandhi had interacted with Congress workers in Rajasthan through the application, which has already been unveiled in Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi.Shakti will enable the booth-level workers of the party to interact with the local leadership on various issues, Chidambaram said.Though the party lost in the May 12 Karnataka assembly election, Chidambaram claimed that Congress had higher vote percentage than of the BJP."Congress had 2 per cent advantage in the vote share in the election, as we got 38 per cent of the votes, while the BJP got 36 per cent," Chidambaram said.In the election for the 224-member assembly, the BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 104 seats, Congress 79 and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 37 seats, including one seat of its alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and two other seats -- one each won by an Independent and a regional outfit.Two seats remain vacant in the state as Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was elected from both Ramanagara and Channapatna assembly segments and Jamkhandi seat in Bagalkot district fell vacant after the legislator's death on May 28.