BENGALURU: Determined to wrest Karnataka from the Congress, the BJP is set to raise a Modi storm as the campaign for the May 12 assembly election enters the final phase. With most of the pre-poll surveys predicting a hung assembly, the party is unleashing a Modi blitzkrieg to add heft to its efforts to unseat the Congress from power and form its government in the southern state for a second time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to address 15 rallies in the state starting with three rallies on Tuesday, is entering the battle with the objective of clinching a clear verdict in BJP’s favour as he did in Gujarat, where he had addressed a total of 34 rallies.
In his first visit to the state after the poll schedule was announced, Modi will start his campaign from Chamarajanagar district, where he will address a public rally in Santhemaranahalli at 11.30 am on Tuesday. Modi will next head to Udupi, visit Krishna Mutt and seek blessings of the Pejawar seer before addressing another rally at AGM College Ground at 3 pm. Later, Modi will travel to Chikkodi, where he will hold another rally.
With Karnataka being the only big Congress-ruled state, apart from Punjab, BJP is betting big on Karnataka to accomplish its mission of ‘Congress mukt Bharat’. The outcome of the battle in Karnataka is being billed as the semi-final ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
While BJP national president Amit Shah is weaving strategies to deliver that knockout punch to Congress that could set the tone for battle 2019, Congress president Rahul Gandhi sees Siddaramaiah-led party humbling Team Modi, thus providing the much-needed trigger for the rejuvenation of the party in other states too and help it lead an alternative front to the NDA.
According to BJP state General Secretary Shobha Karandlaje, the Prime Minster has set aside five days for intense campaigning in Karnataka starting from Tuesday. The rallies have been planned in such a way that he would cover all the regions of the state.
The rallies have been planned in such a way that he would cover all the regions of the state.He is set to address rallies in Kalaburagi, Ballari, and Bengaluru on May 3.He is set to return on May 5 to address public rallies in Tumakuru, Shivamogga and Hubballi. He is expected to be in Raichur, Chitradurga and Kolar on May 7.
On May 8, two days before campaigning comes to an end in the state, Modi is scheduled to address public rallies in Vijayapura, Mangaluru and Bengaluru.Modi’s tour planners have charted two rallies in Bengaluru on May 3 and 8. With the IT capital having 28 assembly segments, BJP has set a target of 25 seats for its cadres and leaders. The party’s ‘Mission’150’ can be realised only with a spectacular show in Bengaluru, where it has a strong presence. The party presently has 12 MLAs from Bengaluru city and had won all the 3 Lok Sabha seats in Bengaluru in 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Shah himself has been visiting the state frequently to campaign in almost every region of the state and party’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa is on a second round of state tour. He had touched all the 224 constituencies in his first round of ‘Parivartana Yatra’.
Modi magic won’t work, says Siddaramaiah
While BJP is looking up to Brand Modi to sweep the poll battle in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has dismissed it as a false hope. “Modi magic will not work in Karnataka. Let them bring Modi, Shah or Yogi, the people of Karnataka have already decided to reward Congress for the good work our government has done. Karnataka is not Uttar Pradesh,” Siddaramaiah said expressing the confidence of leading Congress to victory.
Modi will be first PM to visit Gadag after 36 yrs
After a gap of 36 years, Gadag has got an opportunity to host a prime minister. After Indira Gandhi’s visit in 1982, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the city on May 5 to address BJP’s election rally. Indira’s visit was an official one as she conducted a ground breaking ceremony for construction of houses for poor under HUDCO scheme. Then Gadag was a part of undivided Dharwad. However, Modi’s visit is purely a political one.
BJP leaders hunt for rally venue in Gadag
Gadag BJP leaders are now searching for a big ground as it needs minimum 40-50 acres to accommodate huge crowd for the Modi’s rally. People from seven constituencies are likely to throng Gadag on Saturday. District BJP general secretary Mohan Malashetty, who is in-charge of Modi’s rally, said, “We visited farms. But, these areas have black soil, which will turn slushy if it rains. We will soon finalise a place for the rally,” he added.