Eight days ahead of the Karnataka elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners organised a daylong nationwide protest against rising food prices Thursday - when inflation hit a 42-month high 7.57 per cent.
BJP leader VK Malhotra clarified that the protest was a "strike and not a shutdown". On the agenda were human chains in BJP and NDA ruled states and closure of shops and commercial establishments.
The party has declared price rise and food security to be the twin planks of its campaign in the three-phased Karnataka election beginning May 10.
NDA ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U), headed by Sharad Yadav, however is keeping out of the strike because of the party's differences with the BJP over seat sharing in Karnataka.
The BJP is hoping to turn the heat on the ruling Congress by upping the ante on price rise.
A recent opinion poll conducted by CNN-IBN-Deccan Herald on the Karnataka poll, however, dampened the BJP's hopes of raking in quick electoral profit from the price rise.
The opinion poll showed that infrastructure and resources topped the list of priorities for the electorate in Karnataka. Countering the opinion poll outcome - BJP MP Ananth Kumar, in a media interview, said people were agitated over spiralling prices and it would impact the Congress negatively in the election.