Narendra Modi may address more rallies in Karnataka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may address more election rallies than what was originally planned in Karnataka as the BJP raises the campaign tempo to wrest back the only southern state it has ever ruled, two party leaders familiar with the matter said.
“The BJP has planned 15 rallies of the prime minister between May 1 and 8. The number could go up to 21,” the one of the two BJP leaders said.
May 10 is the last day of campaigning for the May 12 election in Karnataka. “The PM may spare one more day from his schedule for campaigning. His programmes are being rearranged,” the second leader said.
Karnataka is headed for a close contest between the BJP and the Congress with the former largely depending on Modi’s popularity to regain power in the state after a gap of five years.
Karnataka is seen as BJP’s gateway to south and is the largest the state that the Congress now rules.
On May 1, Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, as he floated “2+1” theory to target the “dynasty Congress”. Siddaramiah is contesting from two assembly seats, Chamundeshwari and Badami, while his son is a Congress candidate from Varuna.
“PM Modi rallies on May 1 not only energised the BJP cadre, it even built a momentum against the Congress. We hope more rallies of the PM will tilt the balance in the BJP’s favour,” the first BJP leader said.
The Congress has earlier said the BJP was limiting the number of Modi’s rallies In Karnataka which was a sign of an impending defeat. The BJP had rejected the charge.
BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao said in an interview on Monday that any comparison between number of Modi’s rallies in Karnataka and bigger states like Uttar Pradesh, which has almost two times the number of assembly seats, was unnecessary.
The Prime Minister launched his second leg of campaign for Karnataka in May 1, addressing three rallies in Chamrajanagar, Udupi and Belagavi district that covered 48 assembly constituencies.
On Thursday, he travels to Karnataka again to address rallies in Gulbarga, Bellary and Bangaluru. These rallies will cover 47 assembly seats in Gulbarga, Bidar, Yadgiri, Bellary, Kopal and Bengaluru.
Modi will return to Karnataka again on Saturday to address public meetings in Tumkur, Shivamogga and Gadag covering 49 seats.